Sydney Busker Shines After Standing Up To Anti-LGBT Preacher

Axel Winter screenshot
  • Article by Amy Bradney-George
  • March 12, 2015 at 4:02 PM

The hustle and bustle of Pitt Street Mall attracts all kinds of people, including both buskers and preachers. But while the easy option might be to ignore these people, sometimes taking a stand really does make a difference – as busker Axel Winter recently found out.

The 24-year-old musician has become an online hero after media have picked up his story of standing up to an anti-LGBT preacher.

It all started on the afternoon of Mardi Gras (Saturday 7th March 2015) when Winter was planning to busk in Pitt Street Mall. But before he got started, he heard an anti-gay preacher yelling “hateful religiously inspired things about gay people”. On a day when people were celebrating diversity, these comments drove Winter to take creative action.

“Whether you’re homosexual or transgender or even just confused, you’re still my friend,” Winter says in a post on his Facebook Page, where he also recounts what happened next.

“So, myself and the other buskers moved my stuff behind him and drowned out his negativity,” he says.

Winter began singing a version of Cyndi Lauper’s hit “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”, modifying the lyrics to say “girls and boys they all wanna have fun”, drawing in a huge crowd of people who cheered him on.

“Everyone joined together to celebrate diversity and equality, eventually forcing the man to leave.”

Since posting the video on YouTube and his Facebook page on 7th March, it has been seen over 250,000 times and picked up by major news outlets including The Huffington Post, Metro, BuzzFeed and The Daily Mail – the latter of which has had its storied shared over 3000 times in three days.

Winter has taken to Facebook several times since to humbly express his gratitude for the support and praise coming his way, saying that he “just did what was right”.

“I just wanted to quickly say before this all passes and you forget who I am, I want to say right now thank you so much for the support, thank you for being there,” he says in a video posted directly to Facebook.

“You guys are backing me 100% and making me more determined to make a change in the world, and I want to do that through my music. So if you guys love music and live in Sydney, come down and check me out or stay tuned on the page and check out some tours that I want to do. Thank you again for all the support, I really hope I can see all of you in the future.”

Unlike the preacher who motivated him, it is clear Axel Winter (and the other buskers involved that day) have struck the right chord for both the media and the public.

Axel Winter 2
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