World Pride mural near Wynyard Station causes uproar

Fury over ‘creepy’ teddy bear gay bondage mural in full view of kids in Sydney’s CBD – ‘This is Balenciaga vibes’

  • LGBTQ+ bondage mural angers Aussies 
  • Features teddy bear wearing bondage outfit 

A gay pride mural in Sydney’s CBD of a man in a bondage outfit with a teddy bear head has sparked outrage and demands for the ‘creepy and sexualised’ image to be removed from the view of children.

The mural on Wynyard St, adjacent to one of the city’s busiest train stations, was commissioned by YCK Laneways, a collective of local shops in the area.

The painting shows a hairy, overweight man wearing a teddy bear head and bondage gear while lying on a dilapidated lounge draped in a gay pride flag.

YCK Laneways said the mural was created to celebrate World Pride, a global event celebrating queer culture currently being hosted in Sydney.

But many city workers and visitors have called the mural ‘inappropriate’, particularly given the teddy bear image would capture the attention of children who would then be exposed to sexual fetishes.

A new mural in Sydney's CBD depicts a man wearing bondage and a teddybear head (above)

A new mural in Sydney’s CBD depicts a man wearing bondage and a teddybear head (above)

Catlin Roper, a spokesperson for Collective Shout, an organisation that campaigns against the infiltration of pornography into the mainstream, was disgusted.

‘Whose idea was it to pair a teddy bear with BDSM for a public audience? This is creepy,’ she wrote in an online comment.

A second person wrote: ‘Why is a teddy bear in bondage meant to represent pride?!

‘The gay community worked hard for years to distance themselves from this sort of representation. Small children will be walking past this.’

Another angry commenter said: ‘How did YCK Laneways arrive at the conclusion that a furry/BDSM clad male would be suitable for kids to walk by in their own community? This mural need to be removed as soon as possible.’


Should the bondage teddy mural be removed?

  • Yes 201 votes
  • No 26 votes

A fourth person wrote: ‘Why would you think this is appropriate to display in public?! 

‘A fat, hairy, alcohol drinking, bondage wearing teddy bear man on display where people walk past to go to work, and in full view of children.’

Others compared the disturbing correlation between childhood imagery and sexual fantasies to the Balenciaga scandal.

The upmarket fashion house was forced to apologise for an advertising image that included teddybears dressed in bondage.

One Sydneysider shared his thoughts about the explicit painting on TikTok. 

‘At what point does inclusiveness pass too far,’ user Moeyreacts said.

‘You’ve got a fat man who’s naked in a gimp costume with a cute teddybear hat, right in Wynyard.

‘Now tell me this, when you’re walking down the street with your kid and the kid looks at a cute teddybear hat and relates it to a man in a gimp suit – at what point does it get too dangerous?

‘This is disgusting, this is Balenciaga vibes.’ 

More than 1,000 viewers commented under the video with most calling for the mural to be scrapped. 

Hundreds of outraged Sydneysiders have called for the 'creepy' mural (above) to be removed or painted over

Hundreds of outraged Sydneysiders have called for the ‘creepy’ mural (above) to be removed or painted over

‘It’s beyond my comprehension how this can ever be allowed to happen,’ one commenter said. 

‘I saw that on the way to work, was considering getting bucket of black paint and covering it,’ a second person wrote.

‘I’m sorry but I couldn’t explain that to my kids. That’s way too far!,’ another said.

However, some people were in favour of the mural and told negative commenters to ‘look away’ if they have a problem with it. 

A YCK spokesperson responded to the outrage, saying: ‘YCK Laneways is an inclusive precinct which welcomes and celebrates a variety of communities and sub-cultures from across Sydney.

‘The mural is in place to celebrate World Pride and will be removed on 5 March.’

World Pride said it is not associated with the painting. 

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