Leading thinkers and thought provocateurs, both national and international, from all walks of LGBTQI life will take to the stage for two exhilarating days of illuminating ideas, featuring queer writers, community leaders, panel discussions, talks, debate and personal stories.

With a focus on social justice, Queer Thinking in 2018 will look back over the 40 years of Mardi Gras, from its early revolutionary beginnings through to its evolution to becoming one of the leading LGBTQI celebrations in the world.

Queer Thinking features two days of seven panels with over thirty speakers sharing their thoughts and stories.


Koori Gras’ Speakers Platform

11:00am – 12:30pm

An international panel of influential thinkers and artists come together to discuss queer performance from First Peoples’ perspectives.

Featuring a panel including Dr Sandy O’Sullivan, Jacob Boehme, Cherish Blood and Brian Fuata.

Activists Show & Tell: How to Change the World

Panel + Q&A with 78er Julie McCrossin

1.30pm – 3:00pm

In a special panel for the 40th anniversary of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, journalist and 78er Julie McCrossin takes a look at LGBTQI activism in Australia from radical liberation and protest in the 70s to the fights we’re fighting today.

Hosted by Julie McCrossin in conversation with activists Betty Hounslow, Teddy Cook, Sally Rugg and Imam Nur Warsame.

Change for All? Feminism and the LGBTQI Movement

3:30pm – 5:00pm

This panel will explore the role of women and feminist politics in building the LGBTIQ rights movement in Australia today. From the gay liberation movement to the queer politics of today, we’ll examine the intersections of feminism, queer, trans, race, age and Indigenous sovereignty, taking up the most pressing questions of how we can do better as a movement that is committed to justice and equality for all.

Moderated by Sarah Maddison, with panelists Robyn Laverack, Nayuka Gorrie, Katherine Wolfgramme and Anna Hush.

Trans Stories – 40 Years

7.00pm – 8.45pm

In this unforgettable Queer Thinking co-presentation with Trans Sydney Pride a diverse range of transgender people will share their personal truth and inner world in an evening of storytelling. Buy tickets here.

Featuring speakers Mama Alto, AJ Brown, Karen Chant, Chrissy Doyle, Lisa Freshwater, Peta Friend, Katherina Maver, Kaya Wilson and Colleen Windsor.


Queer Refugees: Building the Bridges and Bridging the Gaps

1:00pm – 2:00pm

In Australia, LGBTIQ people from refugee backgrounds are almost absent from the overall refugee debate, and rarely do we focus on those LGBTQI individuals who are granted a protection visa and what happens after. This panel asks: where are LGBTIQ people who sought asylum in Australia? Which community do they fit in and belong?

Moderated by Tina Dixson, with panelists Roj Amedi, Kathryn Clark, Renee Dixson and Randa Kattan.

The ‘Transgressive’ Body: A Fucking Protest

2:30pm – 3:30pm

‘Transgressive’ sexual bodies are often the target of stigma, discrimination and regulation. Drawing on experiences with disability, HIV-positivity, sex work and queer porn, the panel explores the protest of fucking and how body- and sex-positivity advance understanding and advocacy in our communities.

Moderated by Dino Dimitriadis, with panelists Zahra Stardust, Dai Aoki, and Daniel Monks.

Activism and Radicalism from the AIDS Crisis to Today

4:00pm – 5:00pm

When the AIDS crisis hit, LGBTQI communities around the world were changed forever. This panel will bring together Australian and French perspectives on the AIDS crisis, and how the lasting effects of AIDS activism is still felt today in fighting for the rights of all LGBTQI people.

Moderated by Nell Schofield, with panelists Philippe Mangeot, Lyle Chan, Serge Rabier and Bridget Haire.


A ticket to Queer Thinking Saturday 24 February includes the panels Activists Show & Tell: How to Change the World and Change for All? Feminism and the LGBTQI MovementKoori Gras’ Speakers Platform is free to attend and Trans Stories – 40 Years is separately ticketed, which you can buy tickets to here.

A ticket to Queer Thinking Sunday 25 February includes the panels Queer Refugees: Building the Bridges and Bridging the GapsThe ‘Transgressive’ Body: A Fucking Protest, and Activism and Radicalism from the AIDS Crisis to Today.