(Australia) - Simply attending last night's Mardi Gras extravaganza was the hardest thing Craig Gee has ever had to do. Then agreeing to march with his partner, Shane Brennen, on the second row of the world-famous parade took his anxiety to another level. But above all was the courage needed just to step back onto Oxford Street for the first time since being savagely bashed at the popular strip in a Gay-hate attack three months ago. The assault left the 27-year-old with a fractured jaw, an eye socket smashed in three places and a broken right leg. He has since suffered nightmares, blurred vision and headaches and has been afraid to go anywhere alone. The animosity then reached fever pitch when Mardi Gras arrived and Gay Sydney endeavoured to show off the best of itself to the outside world, with the number of incidents further doubling. As part of the response, revellers were last night asked to hold hands in symbolic defiance. Partygoers were also advised to travel to and from venues in groups or by taxi if alone, and either to cover their costumes or get changed after they arrived so as not to risk being targeted.