Thousands of people gathered at the 35th annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade held in celebration of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

This year, around 10,000 performers on 108 floats took part in the parade with the motorbikes of Sydney's Dykes on Bikes motorcycle club leading the pack.

Australia's famous surf lifeguards were also represented in the parade.

"The message is that the lifesaver is for everybody, gay, straight, bisexual, whoever," parade participant Grant Beaumont said, "Life saving is very inclusive and you know, we are very proud to be part of the gay community, we love coming to Mardi Gras every year, and being on the show. We just love it."

Gay members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) marched in uniform at the Sydney Mardi Gras for the first time.

''To be able to wear military uniform, something we do every day, is great," Corporal Fritzell-Flint said, "We wear it with pride and to be recognised after 20 years of being discriminated against is fine. There is a very open and accepting cultural diversity in the army. We work together in the same unit and same section and our bosses are excellent.''

Another key feature of the event was the participation of people who took part in Sydney's first Mardi Gras march in 1978.

"Sydney Mardi Gras is well known as a good time, but it's so much more than a street parade," Mardi Gras co-chair Peter Urmson said, "It's what we do to continue the struggle against discrimination and inequality as it impacts on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex people."

Take a look at the stunning images of floats and parades at the event...