However acceptance for the community - and the celebration of Mardi Gras - has not been easy.
For many of the '78ers' - the name given to the small-but-brave group of participants from the first march held in 1978 - it’s been an enduring time of protest, hate crime and discrimination. They made huge sacrifices to pave the way for acceptance.
"It’s not all rhinestones and sequins - the key to genuine diversity starts from within." - Darren Sibson
A lot has changed for the LGBTI community in that time, made possible from the continued protests that turned into the modern festival we know now.
Governments have reversed oppressive laws limiting the LGBTI rights, organisations embraced their vibrant and diverse workforce and now stand beside them and families are embracing their loved ones.
It’s a time to celebrate, because there’s a lot to be thankful for.
I stand proud as an openly gay man and I’m able to do so because of those who came before me and fought for our rights. I also work for an organisation that allows me to thrive and be my authentic self at work.