With Pride Month beginning and the Sydney Pride Festival kicking off, queer editor Brandon Bear highlights the exciting events of the season.
As winter settles over Sydney, our sexuality and gender diverse communities are celebrating who we are and how far we have come with the Sydney Pride Festival 2022. Celebrated in June each year, Pride Month globally commemorates the Christopher Street Liberation March – a response to the Stonewall Riots of 1969 that ushered in a new era of protest and celebration.
It is fitting, then, that Sydney’s own Stonewall Hotel once again provides a community hub during Pride Month – a cultural home for a season of events, parties, discussions and happenings that promise to get us rugged up (or dressed down) as we start winter with a bang.
The theme for this year’s festival is ‘Be Brave, Be Strong, Be You’, with a focus on empowering ourselves and each other to ‘find pride’.
Launching on Thursday, 2 June and running through to the end of the month, key events include the Pride edition of extravagant Trans Glamore – a showcase of the most skilled trans and gender diverse performers Sydney has to offer – and the Vivid Ideas: Queer Sydney event taking over the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, which is colloquially known to Sydneysiders as the Powerhouse.
For those inclined to get their thinking caps on, a Pride Month Writing Workshop for young adults will be held in Penrith on Tuesday, 7 June, while at the other end of the month, the long-running OutStanding Short Story Competition will hold an online launch of their 2022 season, with Sydney MP Alex Greenwich unveiling the much-anticipated theme for this year’s challenge.
Of course, no Pride Month is complete without a chance to hit the dancefloor. This Pride festival has a party for everyone; hands will be high in the air for the celebration of masculinity without the toxicity at THICK ‘N’ JUICY and eccentric costumes and an electric atmosphere is certain at Club Kooky by the Harbour, which promises stunning views and an even more eye-catching crowd.
For those still seeking more, the Heaps Gay Qweens’ Ball will be taking over Luna Park the same weekend that Kitty Glitter brings an electric production to Glitterland and Extra Dirty gets bigger than ever at Space Nightclub.
As always, the Sydney Pride festival is firmly grounded in the community and offers multiple opportunities to give back to the LGBTQI+ charities and organisations that support us throughout the year. This year the partnerships with ACON, Twenty10, GLCS and the Gender Centre are supported by the RUOK? campaign, Beyond Blue and Black Rainbow.
Returning to the Pride Festival calendar is the Aurora Ball, a glittering fundraiser for the Aurora Foundation that this year heads to a new venue to celebrate ‘Metamorphosis’ – their theme a reflection of coming out of the chrysalis after Covid-19 to continue their philanthropic work across the community.
A unique event in the festival program this year is the community launch of the Bondi Memorial, a public artwork in Marks Park, Tamarama, dedicated to all the victims and survivors targeted during a spate of homophobic and transphobic violence from the 1970s to the 1990s in Sydney and NSW. The memorial is the result of years of advocacy and partnership between ACON and the Waverley Council.
The artwork, titled ‘Rise’, has been designed by lead designer John Nicholson of Urban Art Projects and all are welcome to the event at 10.30 am on Saturday, 4 June.
Nic Parkhill, CEO of ACON reflected on the importance of Sydney Pride for the LGBTQI+ community.
“The Sydney Pride Festival provides us with an important opportunity to reflect on how far we have come and to pay tribute to all the pioneers who fought for our rights and freedoms. It’s also a time to celebrate equality, pride, diversity and inclusion, and look to the road ahead,” Parkhill said.
“We commend Sydney Pride Festival for shining a light on our past, present and future, and thank all the participants for their continued support for our communities,” he said.
“We encourage everyone to be join in the many activities happening during Sydney Pride Festival.”
Sydney Pride launches on the Thursday, 2 June at the Stonewall Hotel. If you would like to hold an event during the festival, email Glenn Hansen at email@example.com.
For more information on Sydney Pride 2022, visit www.sydneypride.com.
Brandon Bear is the queer editor of the Sydney Sentinel.
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