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Events

Courtyard Sessions

Courtyard Sessions
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Courtyard Sessions offers free gigs at dusk in the Seymour Centre courtyard, with a diverse program that champions local LGBTQI artists.

Bigger than ever, the 2020 program includes nights presented by Sad Grrls Club and Queer as Fvck, with acts like Wolfjay, Gaia Rising, Lauren Neko, Kyva and more set to hit the stage. Bring your friends and enjoy a relaxed summer evening of good food, cold drinks and great live music.

Fri 21 Feb, 6pm-9pm: Queer Trailblazers ft. Gussy, Moonsign and Reem
Sat 22 Feb from 5:30pm: 
Queer As Fvck ft. Gaia Rising, Lauren Neko, DJ Scruffamudda
Sun 23 Feb from 5:00pm: Queer Trailblazers ft. KYVA and Wolfjay
Fri 28 Feb, 6pm-9pm: Not Just Grrrls by Sad Grrrls Club

Posted in Festival Hub Tagged Music, Women

LGBTQI+ Elders Dance Club

LGBTQI+ Elders Dance Club
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A fabulous, free social event for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, gender diverse, intersex elders and their allies! Come along and learn new dances, enjoy delicious catering and drinks and interact with the whole rainbow community.

LGBTQI+ Elders Dance Club champions the recreational and social rights of rainbow elders, creating a space that is safe and inclusive. No dance experience necessary. Afternoon tea provided.

An event by All the Queens Men.
 

My Trans Story - Place and Belonging

My Trans Story - Place and Belonging
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Curated by FEM in association with Trans Pride Australia

My Trans Story was a sell-out success at Mardi Gras in 2018 and 2019. This 2020 season features local and regional storytellers exploring place and belonging. They’re the “gender whisperers” the Prime Minister warned you about.

At a time when the trans experience is becoming more visible, we still rarely see stories by trans and gender diverse people on screens, in theatres, on bookshelves or in popular culture and when we do, they focus on coming out, surgery, discrimination and hate crimes. We’re here to tell you there’s plenty more to the trans narrative.

Yes, we can be linked by feelings of gender dysphoria, name changes, surgeries and marginalisation but our stories are unique and more than our gender; they’re human stories full of love and laughter, curiosity and explorations, triumphs and hope.

Featuring Holly Conroy, Ted Cook, Peta Friend, Bianca Dean, Joel Wilson and more speakers to be announced.

Posted in Festival Hub Tagged Community, Women

Queer Thinking

Queer Thinking
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Around the world, LGBTQI+ activists are on the frontline of protest, agitation and grassroots community organising. Queer Thinking will explore activism in our own backyard and globally, reflecting on our legacies and contending with our futures.

Bring your rage, your solidarity and your curiosity. Across two days, leading thinkers, writers, organisers and academics will traverse topics from law reform to prison abolition, mutual aid projects to data marginalisation, religious freedoms to trans liberation.

Queer Thinking will take over the Seymour Centre in Chippendale for a weekend of workshops, panels and in-conversations. In addition to the ticketed sessions, there will be free community events - a mass singalong with the Welcome Choir, a letter-writing workshop, a Big Queer Book Club presented in partnership with Better Read Than Dead, and plenty of places to continue the conversation.

Curated by Maeve Marsden and Nikki Stevens. Photos: Patrick Boland.

If you are unable to afford a ticket but would like to attend Queer Thinking, please email hello@maevemarsden.com to request a ticket. Preference will be given to First Nations people and people with lived prison experience.

ABOUT THE CURATORS

Maeve Marsden is a writer, producer and theatremaker who lives on Gadigal land. Since 2016 she has curated and hosted Queerstories around the country, an award-winning storytelling event, book and podcast. She writes and performs in critically acclaimed theatre, cabaret, comedy and live music productions, touring Australia, New Zealand and the UK extensively. A well-respected cultural commentator, she has hosted events for Sydney Writers Festival, Adelaide Writers Week, Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, and a number of regional talks and ideas festivals, and her work has appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, Guardian Australia, Junkee, ABC, SBS, Daily Review and Archer Magazine, among others. In 2018, she edited at the ABC’s Sydney Mardi Gras 40th Anniversary Magazine. Maeve likes gin, dancing, cheese, and TV melodramas with good ethics and bad dialogue. @maevemarsden

Nikki Stevens is a film editor who works in documentary and drama. Jirga (2018) was screened at Sydney Film Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival, it also took home top honors at Cinefest Oz. Black Divaz (2017) won Audience Choice at Queerscreen 2017, Heart of the Queen (2016) won Best Short at the Antenna Documentary Film Festival in 2016, and Hanson: Please Explain?! (2016) won a best director AACTA award. She is currently working on ABC’s Foreign Correspondent. @_nikkistevens


CLICK THE TITLES BELOW FOR INFO ABOUT EACH SESSION

SATURDAY 22 FEBRUARY:
 
DENNIS ALTMAN IN CONVERSATION WITH RAEWYN CONNELL

12.00 noon - 1.00pm

"What has changed? What remains the same?" – Dennis Altman

Reflecting on the early days of gay liberation in Australia, the homosexualisation of America, and subsequent rise of the far right in both nations; Dennis Altman and Raewyn Connell will unpack the past, consider the present and pontificate on the future. Have we achieved post - gay? Is nostalgia a milestone around the neck of the queer revolution? And what change can one manifest from within the ivory tower?

Dennis Altman is the son of Jewish refugees who first came to attention with the publication of his book Homosexual: Oppression & Liberation in 1972. Recent books include Global Sex, The End of the Homosexual? and [with Jonathan Symons] Queer Wars. Monash University Press published Unrequited Love: Diary of an Accidental Activist in 2019. Altman is Emeritus Professor and Professorial Fellow in the Institute for Human Security at LaTrobe University in Melbourne. He was President of the AIDS Society of Asia and the Pacific (2001-5), and has been a Board member of Oxfam Australia. In 2005 he was Visiting Professor of Australian Studies at Harvard, and was listed by The Bulletin as one of the 100 most influential Australians ever [July 4 2006], and is a Member of the Order of Australia June 2008. He is an Ambassador for the Human Rights Law Centre and Patron Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives and the Pride Foundation.

Raewyn Connell is Professor Emerita, University of Sydney, and Life Member of the National Tertiary Education Union. She has taught in several countries and is a widely-cited sociological researcher. Her recent books include The Good University; Knowledge and Global Power (with Fran Collyer, Joao Maia and Robert Morrell); Gênero em termos reais; and Gender in World Perspective (with Rebecca Pearse). Her work has been translated into nineteen languages. Raewyn has been active in the labour movement, the peace movement, and work for gender equality. @raewynconnell

DOES MARRIAGE MATTER? Pride and activism in the Asia Pacific

1.30pm – 3.00pm

"Every empire, however, tells itself and the world that it is unlike all other empires, that its mission is not to plunder and control but to educate and liberate." – Edward W.Said

When Taiwan passed marriage equality in 2019, the move was celebrated globally: the first Asian nation to achieve this historic reform. But in a region with violent histories of colonialism and contemporary State oppression, does mainstream Australia’s continued focus on marriage equality as a measure of progress help or hinder? What does universal LGBTQI equality actually look like?

Featuring Patrick Thomsen (NZ), Henry Tse (Hong Kong), Matcha Pornin (Thailand) and Enoch Mailangi.

Seuta’afili Dr Patrick Thomsen is currently a Lecturer in Pacific Studies at the University of Auckland’s Centre for Pacific Studies. Patrick completed his doctorate at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he was the first to use Pacific research methodologies to explore the complexities of coming-out in the lives of Korean gay men in both Seoul and Seattle. Patrick also studied at Seoul National University, becoming the first Samoan to graduate from their Graduate School of International Studies and worked as an educator in schools and universities in South Korea for nearly a decade. He recently wrote widely circulated pieces on the complexities of the Israel Folau saga and shared critiques on the cultural shortcomings inherent to Western frameworks of gender, queerness and sexuality. He has written for many publications including The Diplomat, Radio New Zealand, Newshub, E-Tangata, The Coconet TV, The Spinoff and other platforms. As a researcher he is currently developing a Pacific Rainbow Health and Wellbeing Project with leaders in Pacific Rainbow communities in Aotearoa-New Zealand. @PatrickSThomsen

Henry Tse is the Chairman of Transgender Resource Center, an NGO involved in event organisation for the LGBT+ movement in Hong Kong. As a transman born and raised in Hong Kong, Henry has used himself as a test case to push the Hong Kong Government to enact gender recognition legislation in place of its current coercive policy on full sex reassignment surgery. A pro-active speaker on this subject, he has spoken at Legislative Council conferences, and at annual LGBT+ events such as the Pride Parade and Pink Dot. His vocal activism and bravery have raised public and media awareness on the rights of transgender persons and have made positive impact on trans inclusion. In 2018, Henry won the Transgender Inclusion Champion Award presented by Community Business.

Matcha Pornin is Ethnic minority Lesbian Feminist WHRD, committed to build peoples’ movements to advance human right, family equality, Gender and SOGIESC justice. She has 15 years experiences of working to empower youth from the most marginalised community included LGBTIQ, Indigenous and stateless people. She also advocates for family equality for LGBTIQ people within Thailand and globally. She has 14 years experiences in working as a Founder and Executive Director of Sangsan Anakot Yawachon in order to empower more than 3,000 young Indigenous people through human rights education and providing scholarship support to more than 1000 Indigenous girls and young women at the Thailand - Myanmar - Karen State border. She has been a board of director of APWLD – Asia-Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development, was the president of the board of directors of the ILGA Foundation for 2 years, and a board member of International Family Equality Day for 2 years.

Enoch Mailangi is an Aboriginal and Tongan TV writer and text-based artist based in Lakemba. Their practice and writing primarily champions themes of Blak mediocrity and explores celebrity culture as a vehicle of colonisation. They are a 2020 Sydney Theatre Company Emerging Playwright, a 2020 Urban Theatre Project Resident Artist, and an MFA student at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts. They’ve written for programs with Campbelltown Arts Centre, UNSW Galleries, Firstdraft, Running Dog and was a recipient of the Magabala Scholarship. They have been programmed in A25’s 2020 program at Belvoir for their new comedy Apologia.

QUEER LIBERATION NEEDS PRISON ABOLITION

5.00pm - 6.00pm

"Stop police attacks, on gays, women and blacks"

The chant from the first Mardi Gras in 1978 pulled no punches. What has happened in the intervening years? LGBTIQ+ identities and behaviours are more heavily policed and criminalised than the dominant white cis-hetero population, sistergirls and trans women are locked up in male prisons, HIV transmission is criminalised - but State violence and prison abolition has dropped off the mainstream gay agenda. With cops now a feature at Pride parades, and the ever increasing demands for hate crime legislation and carceral repercussions  - have we lost our way? How can we better support communities experiencing State violence, and get our abolition mojo back?

Featuring Alison Whittaker, Aunty Elytta ‘Lilly’ Manton, Anne-lise Ah-Fat and Paul Kidd.

Alison Whittaker is a Gomeroi writer and lawyer born and raised in Gunnedah. She is Senior Researcher at the Jumbunna Institute. From 2017-18, she was a Fulbright recipient at Harvard Law, where she was Dean’s Scholar in Race, Gender and Criminal Law. Alison’s latest book, BLAKWORK (Magabala 2018), was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards and the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, and received the Queensland Literary Award for Poetry. @AJ_Whittaker

Aunty Elytta ‘Lilly’ Manton is a proud Worimi, Bundjalung, Biripi, Wundjeri and Dainggatti Sistergirl. Driven by her own lived experience, Aunty Lilly is a fierce advocate for Sistergirls and Brotherboys inside the prison system and wider community. She has worked for Scarlet Alliance, ACON, The Gender Centre and is a staunch activist against Black Deaths in Custody. A much loved and respected Aboriginal and Trans Elder, Aunty Lilly resides on Bundjalung country in her hometown of Lismore, where she is well known as ‘Lismore’s Lilly’ after working tirelessly for 39 days straight, providing emergency relief to the local community after the devastating 2017 floods.

Anne-lise Ah-Fat is a community organiser, mother of two, facilitator and educator who is passionate about transformative justice. Anne-lise is a co-founder of Incendium Radical Library, IRL Infoshop, Prisoner Letter Writing Group and Undercurrent Community Education Project. Anne-lise is passionate about accountability, prison abolition and malleefowl. Anne-lise works with persons of diverse cultural and economic backgrounds and believes that social change can only occur collectively.

Paul Kidd is an anti-criminalisation activist, lawyer, and commentator. He was the founding chair of the Victorian HIV Legal Working Group, is a past President of Living Positive Victoria, a life member and current board member of Thorne Harbour Health, and Secretary of the HIV Justice Network, a global NGO working to end HIV criminalisation around the world. He practices in criminal and family violence law as Community Lawyer at the Neighbourhood Justice Centre in Melbourne. @paulkidd

LETTER WRITING WORKSHOP (FREE session)

6.00pm – 6.30pm

Y'all better quiet down. I’ve been trying to get up here all day for your gay brothers and your gay sisters in jail that write me every motherfucking week and ask for your help and you all don’t do a goddamn thing for them." – Sylvia Rivera, Christopher Street Liberation Day, 1973

Come and learn about how you can support members of your community, or anyone, who is currently incarcerated. Learn the ins and outs of writing to prisoners, the do's and don'ts of sending reading materials, and the joy of coming together to support community.

Witt Gorrie is a white trans social worker who has worked alongside communities impacted by criminalisation for the past decade. They began this work at Sisters Inside in Meanjin/Brisbane, supporting criminalised and incarcerated young people and their families. They currently work at the Police Accountability Project with young people and adults who have experienced racial profiling, violence and duty failures by police. They also provide outreach support to trans and gender diverse people incarcerated across Victorian prisons and co-facilitate an LGBTIQ+ support group in the women’s prison. Their writing on abolition has been published by the Guardian. Witt now resides in Naarm/Melbourne with their partner Nayuka, dog Neddy and newborn twins. They believe in building a world without prisons and police, and ultimately working themselves out of a job. @WittGorrie

Anne-lise Ah-fat is a community organiser, mother of two, facilitator and educator who is passionate about transformative justice. Anne-lise is a co-founder of Incendium Radical Library, IRL Infoshop, Prisoner Letter Writing Group and Undercurrent Community Education Project. Anne-lise is passionate about accountability, prison abolition and malleefowl. Anne-lise works with persons of diverse cultural and economic backgrounds and believes that social change can only occur collectively.

SUNDAY 23 FEBRUARY:
 
TRANS FUTURES

12.00 noon – 1.00pm

"I may be crazy, but that don't make me wrong." – Marsha P. Johnson

In the face of continued threats to the lives of trans people, there's no rest for transgender leaders and organisers. From Trump’s America, to the Murdoch Press, to the rise and rise of the TERFs and SWERFS – battles rage on all fronts. Join three leading trans thinkers as they outline their vision for the future of transnational trans organising and mutual aid. Is there a trans light at the end of the cisnormative tunnel? What does trans liberation look like?

Featuring Aren Aizura, Dr Sandy O'Sullivan and Charlie Murphy.

Aren Aizura is Associate Professor in Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota and the author of Mobile Subjects: transnational imaginaries of gender reassignment (Duke UP, 2018). He is the co-editor of the Transgender Studies Reader 2 (Routledge 2013) and his work has appeared in numerous journals and books, including Queer Necropolitics (Routledge, 2014) and Trans Studies: Beyond Homo/Hetero Normativities (Rutgers University Press, 2015). He is currently working on a new project on the intersections of transnational sex worker and transgender activism, and writing a short book about queer and trans social reproduction. Originally from Melbourne, he was involved in queer and trans, independent media, and no borders organising in Australia in the 2000s. He was a co-founder of Trans Melbourne Gender Project, the Zoe Belle Gender Center, Media Circus and Spacestation Media Lab, and edited Voiceworks magazine from 2000-2002. He produced a shortlived zine called Skint. @incommensurati

Dr Sandy O’Sullivan is an Aboriginal (Wiradjuri) person. An Associate Professor and Deputy Head of the School of Creative Industries at the University of the Sunshine Coast, they are also a part of the team of the national social media platform IndigenousX. For 27 years they have taught and researched across gender and sexuality, the body, performance, design and First Nations’ identity, and hold a practice-focused PhD across these intersecting areas. Sandy recently completed an internationally-focused Australian Research Council program examining the representation and engagement of First Nations’ Peoples across 470 museums and keeping places. In 2017 they were funded by the Canadian Government to give a keynote on queer representations in museums and galleries for the Museum Queeries Symposium in Winnipeg. Sandy is also working on an ARC Linkage mapping creative practice across the Barkly Region of the Northern Territory, and an Australia Council for the Arts commissioned report on the state of First Nations’ performance across theatre and dance. @sandyosullivan

Charlie Murphy is involved in activist collectives Pride in Protest and Trans Action Warrang, with Trans Action Warrang organising a rally for Trans Day of Visibility and a vigil for Trans Day of Remembrance in Newtown in 2019. Trans Action Warrang is an anticapitalist, anticolonialist collective dedicated to advancing the rights and welfare of trans people. Charlie was the first trans person to be elected to the Board of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in 2019 as the lead candidate on the Pride in Protest ticket, which ran a campaign to bring left-wing politics into the organisation with an anti-corporate and anti-carceral state platform.

ACTIVISTS HANDBOOK - or, how to work with people you don’t like

1.30pm – 2.30pm

“Caring for ourselves doesn’t mean pacifying ourselves” - Dean Spade

Activism can be exhausting; working long hours in stressful conditions for little or no pay. In this context, what does survival look like, is it possible to thrive? Lead by a number of activists engaged in struggles for change, workshop participants will learn strategies for soldiering on when the going gets tough, conflict resolution, negotiation and what to do when it all falls apart.

Featuring Sally Rugg, Roj Amedi, Hayden Moon and Joshua Badge.

Roj Amedi is the Engagement and Communications Manager at Justice Connect coordinating a team on digital innovation, communications and fundraising, and is also the Acting Chair of the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival. She was previously the Senior Human Rights and Racial Justice Campaigner at GetUp, where she lead Colour Code – a national movement of First Nations and migrant communities for racial justice. Roj’s expertise and perspective is only solidified by her lived experience as a queer, former refugee from Iraqi Kurdistan. She has worked with refugee and migrant communities across the country to build their capacity to advocate for a non-discriminatory migration system, improve representation across public institutions, combat the rise of white supremacist groups and stamp out structural racism and discrimination. Roj was the previous editor of Acclaim Magazine and Neue Luxury, and a regular contributor on radio and in print. @Roj_Ame

Sally Rugg is an activist, writer and digital campaigner. She is currently the Executive Director of digital campaign platform Change.org and she was formerly a Campaign Director at progressive campaign group GetUp, where she worked at the forefront of Australia's campaign for marriage equality for five years. Sally is the author of the critically acclaimed How Powerful We Are (Hachette, 2019), described by the Sydney Morning Herald as, ‘a propulsive tale’. Recently, Sally is proud to work behind the scenes on the campaigns to ban conversion therapy, to protect anti-discrimination laws against ‘religious freedom’ attacks and for the protection and inclusion of LGBTQ kids at school. @sallyrugg

Hayden Moon is a Wiradjuri Brotherboy who is committed to ensuring that Aboriginal, Disabled and Transgender people are at the forefront of the fight for their rights and acceptance. He is a co-founder of Trans Action Warrang, a trans autonomous activist collective. Hayden is also a recent addition to the ACON Trans And Gender Diverse Health Advisory Committee. He was the 2019 Disabilities Officer for the Student Representative Council at Sydney University and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement Officer and Cultural Advisor for the Sydney Queer and Disability Community Group (SQuAD).

Joshua Badge is an academic at Deakin University, and a queer activist & writer working on Wurundjeri land in Naarm (Melbourne). His writing has been published in the ABC, the Guardian, Meanjin, Overland, Archer, Junkee and more. His poetry has been published in Cordite. @joshuabadge

BIG QUEER BOOK CLUB (FREE SESSION)

2.00pm – 4.00pm

“Without community, there is no liberation.” – Audre Lorde

Get offline and meet like-minded bookworms at the Big Queer Book Club. BYO your fave book to kickstart a conversation or pick up something new from the Better Read Than Dead Bookstand. It’s like speed dating for nerds, like a writer’s festival but without all the cis-het people, like Chatty Wednesdays but with something to talk about (yes, that’s a Fleabag reference). 

A free session for your Sunday arvo, drop in to meet fellow queer thinkers, or just sit in a corner reading and looking smart.

Hosted by Amelia Lush, Alison Whittaker and Patrick Lenton.

Amelia Lush is the head of children's and young adult's programs at the Sydney Writers’ Festival. She is a prior recipient of the Penguin Random House Young Bookseller of the Year Award, has a decade of frontline bookselling experience under her belt and is a regular facilitator and panel host at literary festivals. She has also worked as an LGBTIQ Health Promotion Officer at ACON. @amelia_lush

Alison Whittaker is a Gomeroi writer and lawyer born and raised in Gunnedah. She is Senior Researcher at the Jumbunna Institute. From 2017-18, she was a Fulbright recipient at Harvard Law, where she was Dean’s Scholar in Race, Gender and Criminal Law. Alison’s latest book, BLAKWORK (Magabala 2018), was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards and the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, and received the Queensland Literary Award for Poetry. @AJ_Whittaker

Patrick Lenton is the Editor of Junkee. He is the author of the book of short stories 'A Man Made Entirely Of Bats' and the essay collection 'Uncle Hercules And Other Lies'. @patricklenton

FREEDOM FROM WHOM

3.00pm – 4.00pm

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. Leviticus 18:22

LGBTQI+ people are often placed in direct opposition to religious institutions, but what of those who tick both boxes? In our rush to condemn both historical and contemporary discrimination and exclusion by religious institutions, are LGBTQI+ believers being unfairly sidelined by both religious and LGBTQI+ communities, leaving few spaces where they feel welcome? LGBTQI+ people of faith discuss legislation, LGBTQI+ community exclusion, activism, contradictions, and what faith means to them.

Moderated by Patrick Thomsen, featuring Dr Y. Gavriel Ansara, Matthew Ng, Nurul Tajularus and Arden Cassie.

Seuta’afili Dr Patrick Thomsen is currently a Lecturer in Pacific Studies at the University of Auckland’s Centre for Pacific Studies. Patrick completed his doctorate at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he was the first to use Pacific research methodologies to explore the complexities of coming-out in the lives of Korean gay men in both Seoul and Seattle. Patrick also studied at Seoul National University, becoming the first Samoan to graduate from their Graduate School of International Studies and worked as an educator in schools and universities in South Korea for nearly a decade. He has recently written widely circulated pieces on the complexities of the Israel Folau saga and shared critiques on the cultural shortcomings inherent to Western frameworks of gender, queerness and sexuality. He has been published by The Diplomat, Radio New Zealand, Newshub, E-Tangata, The Coconet TV, The Spinoff and other platforms. He is currently developing a Pacific Rainbow Health and Wellbeing Project with leaders in Pacific Rainbow communities in Aotearoa-New Zealand. @PatrickSThomsen

Dr Gávi Ansara (PhD Psychol, MCouns) is an internationally recognised researcher, psychotherapist, community activist, and policy advisor. He is a religiously observant, anti-colonial lay leader of non-Eurocentric, polycultural Jewish heritage with ties to rural China and elsewhere. For the first empirical research on cisgenderism – oppressive ideology that invalidates some people’s understanding of their own genders and bodies – he received the 2012 American Psychological Association’s Transgender Research Award for a significant, original research contribution. He won the UK Higher Education Academy’s 2011 National Psychology Postgraduate Teaching Award for excellence in teaching and the University of Surrey Vice Chancellor’s 2016 Alumni Achievement Award for outstanding contributions to international human rights and social justice. He serves on the Victorian Intersex Expert Advisory Group. He is passionate about challenging systemic oppression wherever he encounters it, including nominally 'inclusive' spaces that aren't. His peer-reviewed book, Challenging cisgenderism: Moving beyond the cisgender/transgender binary, is forthcoming.

Matthew Boon Meng Ng ( 黄文明) is a first-generation Chinese Malaysian Australian. He is currently Vice President at Save Our SBS, Secretary at Acceptance Sydney for Gay and Lesbian Catholics and spokesperson for his local resident’s association, The Station Street Society of Friends. Matthew spent his formative years in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where he was educated in the American International School of Riyadh and raised as a Roman Catholic in the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia. He works professionally in non-profit, political, trade union, and religious sectors as an organiser. He has worked for organisations as diverse as the political activist group GetUp!, multiple trade unions, and within the Catholic Church’s St Columban’s Missionary Society’s, Columban Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations.

Nurul Tajularus started the non profit Sydney Queer Muslims Inc in 2017 in response to the Pulse nightclub shooting. In the past 2 years, she has worked tirelessly to network with service providers, allies and activists with the sole aim of reducing the suffering of queer Muslims in Sydney. Nurul and a dedicated group of queer Muslim volunteers have been advocating for better access to mental health care and safer pathways for victims of family violence as well as spreading awareness that queer Muslims exist and that there is help available to those who need it. The group is growing every day with emails from queer muslims coming in asking for support, spiritual counselling or simply to know that they are not alone.

Arden Cassie is a pansexual trans-woman who fiercely believes that God loves all people no matter their gender or sexual identity. Leaving her job teaching mathematics in a Christian school in 2018 to live more honestly was a significant moment but her faith is stronger for it and her local church is affirming of queer people. In her spare time she works with Hunter Gender Alliance to support trans folk in the Newcastle-Hunter region. She can be often found on a pair of roller skates or with a musical instrument in her hands.

FIGHT DISCRIMINATION! CURATED BY EQUALITY AUSTRALIA

4.00pm – 4.30pm

Learn more about the campaign for fair and equal laws in 2020.

Last year’s election unleashed the religious freedom agenda spearheaded by conservative Christian lobby groups. The ensuing draft Religious Discrimination Bill threatens to unwind decades of progress for the LGBTIQ+ community and people from minority faiths, ignoring the intersection between the queer and religious communities. This half-hour panel including human rights activist and legal expert Anna Brown (CEO of Equality Australia) and other leaders from LGBTIQ+ and faith backgrounds will explore how our communities can show resistance against division. Learn more about the threats posed by the Bill, the movement for #FreedomFromDiscrimination and what you can do to ensure our laws protect us all, equally.

Featuring Anna Brown OAM, Dr. Mehreen Faruqi and Dr. Gávi Ansara

Anna Brown OAM, CEO of Equality Australia. Anna Brown’s fingerprints are on nearly every major reform for LGBTIQ+ people in recent years. She played a critical role in the campaign for marriage equality co-chairing the Equality Campaign and running the challenge to the postal plebiscite in the High Court. Anna has been instrumental in hard fought battles to secure federal LGBTI discrimination protections, remove discriminatory laws across the country and right historical wrongs by establishing schemes to erase historical homosexual offences. Anna’s legal work has helped to ensure that young trans people can access vital hormone treatment without the cost and delay of going to court, advanced marriage equality and furthered recognition of sex and gender diversity.

Dr. Mehreen Faruqi, the Greens’ senator for New South Wales. In 2013, she became the first Muslim woman to sit in an Australian parliament. In 2018, she became Australia’s first Muslim Senator. While in NSW parliament, she introduced the first bill to decriminalise abortion. Emigrating from Pakistan in 1992, she worked as a civil and environmental engineer and academic before entering politics. She is a life-long activist for social and environmental justice, and a passionate advocate against racism and misogyny.

Dr. Gávi Ansara is an internationally recognised researcher, psychotherapist, community activist, and policy advisor. He is a religiously observant, anti-colonial lay leader of non-Eurocentric, polycultural Jewish heritage with ties to rural China and elsewhere. For the first empirical research on cisgenderism – oppressive ideology that invalidates some people’s understanding of their own genders and bodies – he received the 2012 American Psychological Association’s Transgender Research Award for a significant, original research contribution. He won the UK Higher Education Academy’s 2011 National Psychology Postgraduate Teaching Award for excellence in teaching and the University of Surrey Vice Chancellor’s 2016 Alumni Achievement Award for outstanding contributions to international human rights and social justice. He serves on the Victorian Intersex Expert Advisory Group. He is passionate about challenging systemic oppression wherever he encounters it, including nominally 'inclusive' spaces that aren't. His peer-reviewed book, Challenging cisgenderism: Moving beyond the cisgender/transgender binary, is forthcoming.

THE BIG D: DATA AND THE MARGINALISED

4.30pm – 6.00pm

With big data comes big responsibilities.” – Kate Crawford

Filling the gaps in data for marginalised groups is seen as a sure fire way to improve access to health care, education and services. Visibility = acceptance, or does it? As every facet of our online, and many parts of our offline lives become surveilled, what are the potential consequences of an uncritical participation in the pursuit of equal representation? 

Three keynotes, spanning Indigenous data sovereignty, the impact of anti-trafficking legislation on sex workers, and surveillance of people crossing borders.

Featuring Dr Louise Boon-Kuo, Gala Vanting and Ellen Van Neerven

Gala Vanting is a writer, sex worker and advocate living and working as a migrant settler on Gadigal land. Her work has woven through the brothel, the boardroom, screen, stage, and page, public health and sex education. She aims to create compassionate and justice-driven dialogue about gender and power, sexuality, technology, media and culture, and is an advocate for the human rights of sex workers. @gala_vanting

Ellen van Neerven is an award-winning Mununjali Yugambeh writer and editor from South East Queensland. Ellen is the author of Heat and Light and Comfort Food.

Dr Louise Boon-Kuo (aka Leroy) is a researcher, teacher and community organiser living on Gadigal country. Louise researches how the interplay between criminal and immigration law systems affect racialised non-citizens, and is the author of Policing Undocumented Migrants: Law, Violence and Responsibility (2018). Louise teaches at the University of Sydney Law School in criminal law and procedure, and ‘race’ and the law, collaborates on community projects focused on carceral abolition, and is part of Academics for Refugees and the Queer Lunar New Year collective. @boonkuo

 

 

Laugh Out Proud

Laugh Out Proud
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Experience the best and brightest queer comedy stand-up from Australia and abroad, together for one-night only in a variety night that can’t be missed.

Laugh Out Proud will feature a stellar lineup of queer acts in a comedy extravaganza hosted by the hilarious Nath Valvo, alongside Zoë Coombs Marr, Rhys Nicholson, Cassie Workman, Karen from Finance, Demi Lardner, Myra DuBois, Geraldine Hickey and Tom Ballard.

Parade

Parade
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Celebrating the colourful collision of creativity and culture across our communities, the world renowned Mardi Gras Parade unites hundreds of thousands of revellers for the biggest night on the LGBTQI+ calendar.

The iconic procession down Oxford St is sure to dazzle and delight as 200 mesmerising groups and floats roll past, inviting everyone into a world of all things camp, queer, glitz and glamour. Parade remains a vehicle of protest, honouring those who have marched the street over the last four decades, continuing to showcase WHAT MATTERS to LGBTQI+ lives around the globe now, and taking us into the future.

Crowds line the streets for hours in anticipation of the Parade, which is open for all to enjoy - so make your way to Oxford Street or Flinders Street early to get the best viewing place and experience this creative playground under the stars.

Information about Accessible Viewing Area at the 2020 Mardi Gras Parade is here.

Tickets to the DIAMOND CLUB and SIDEHOW Parade viewing stands in Taylor Square are now SOLD OUT.
The Parade is free to view from Oxford and Flinders Street, so arrive early to get a good spot!

Spice Night

Spice Night
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Trailblazing queer comedy from across Asia. These four international comedy stars are the new sound of the Asian century. Breaking the rules and queering the mic from Mumbai to Manila, these out, proud and hilarious performers are furiously funny and hot, hot, hot.

Featuring Singaporean Youtube star, Hirzi Zulkiflie (Hirzi and Munah), the Queen of Malaysian Comedy, Joanne Kam (Boom Boom Room), India’s only out gay stand-up, Navin Noronha, and Australian-Filipino shooting star, Margot Tanjutco.

Coming from countries where homosexuality still is or until recently was criminalised, these jokers are sharp and salty, and pack more punch than a pound of pepper. It should be illegal to be this funny, not this gay.

Posted in Festival Hub Tagged Comedy

Sex Education

Sex Education
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By arrangement with Quiet Riot

One parent refuses to talk about sex. The other buys their child gay porn DVDs.

Sex Education by Harry Clayton-Wright explores how we learn about sex and how it shapes our lives, blending a no holds barred interview with his mum, startling performance, moving storytelling and some good old-fashioned gay porn that Harry’s dad bought for him when he was 14.

Delivered with the candour, positivity and charm that have made him an acclaimed international touring success (Briefs: Close Encounters), join Harry as he delves into his sexual past, live on stage: the good, the bad and everything in between. This is a show for anyone who’s wondered why they want what they want.

BRIGHTON FRINGE AWARD WINNER.
TOTAL THEATRE AWARD NOMINEE.

Posted in Festival Hub Tagged Performing Arts

You & I

You & I
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Award-winning company and fringe favourites Casus Circus are back with their most daring and intimate work, You & I.

An empowering hour of skill and identity, You & I celebrates the loving relationship between two circus artists using high-level acrobatics, trapeze, magic and dance.

This unashamedly authentic journey reveals a fresh narrative where gay stories are not consumed by tragedy but filled with conviction, acceptance and joy.

Posted in Festival Hub Tagged Performing Arts

Homage

Homage
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Join an incredible line up of LGBTQI+ musicians as we play tribute to our favourite queer artists, performing covers and reinventions of the songs that helped shape our identities and define our communities.

Songs of protest, thumping dancefloor beats, speakers mounted precariously on garish parade floats, another lesbian singer-songwriter with a guitar… The only rule? The songs performed must have been made famous by another LGBTQI+ artist.

A spin-off from the wildly popular Queerstories storytelling project, expect heart, soul, stellar vocals and a whole lot of fabulousness.

Hosted by Maeve Marsden, with iota, Cash Savage, June Jones, Mystery Carnage and Seann Miley Moore.

"By the time the 12 artists lined up across the stage after a thumping finale, emotions had been touched, eardrums massaged and people tumbled out happy and chatty... A sold out success like that serves to bring community together with a soundtrack in appreciation of battles won, survivals cherished and strength for the fights left to come." – Sydney Arts Guide
 

Posted in Festival Hub Tagged Music, Women

Hudson & Halls

Hudson & Halls
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And we're live! The oven's caught fire. David is drinking and Peter has bad news. Travel back to 1986 for a live taping of the acclaimed TV cooking show, Hudson & Halls.

Join the outrageously camp and extremely alcoholic chefs Peter Hudson and David Halls on the most important night of their lives. Immerse yourselves in the world of a 1980s TV cooking studio and watch Peter and David battle with a working kitchen and about 16 bottles of sherry to create a flawless five-course meal (they hope). Expect big laughs, rum-fuelled showdowns, and some very questionable cooking.

New Zealand’s most successful gay comedy of the last ten years, Hudson & Halls won Best Production at the 2015 Auckland Theatre Awards and Production of the Year at the 2016 Wellington Theatre Awards. Now, it comes to Mardi Gras for the first time.

Co-created by theatrical daredevil Kip Chapman, Hudson & Halls extends the audience experience beyond the walls of the black box to create a truly memorable night filled with mayhem, decadence and love.

HUDSON & HALLS LIVE! Teaser from Silo Theatre on Vimeo.

Hot Brown Honey

Hot Brown Honey
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By arrangement with Quiet Riot

Hot Brown Honey turns up the heat with lashings of sass and a hot pinch of empowerment in the smash-hit, genre defying, firecracker of a show that’s taken the world by storm.

Steeped in the Word of The Mother and packing a punch of hip-hop politics, Hot Brown Honey will make you laugh until you cry, clap until your hands bleed, dance in the aisles and shake every part of what your mama gave you. With lighting, music and costumes set to ignite the change we want to be, Hot Brown Honey is an extraordinary production that spins tradition on its head, going above and beyond to challenge boundaries and embrace resilience – it is unapologetically fierce, defiantly shattering preconceptions in an explosion of colour, culture and controversy. Fighting the Power never tasted so sweet.

WINNER GREEN ROOM AWARDS - Best Production (Cabaret)
WINNER GREEN ROOM AWARDS - Best Design (Cabaret)
WINNER HELPMANN AWARDS - Best Cabaret Performer
NOMINEE HELPMANN AWARDS - Best New Australian Work

Posted in Festival Hub Tagged Women

YUMMY UNLEASHED

YUMMY UNLEASHED
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Blending absurd and outrageous drag and burlesque with scintillating choreography, YUMMY has developed a world-wide cult following. After winning major awards such as “Best Production” (Green Room Awards 2018) and “Best Cabaret” (Fringe World 2019), this legendary ensemble is coming to the Seymour Centre for the first time ever with their latest wild offering, YUMMY UNLEASHED.

An iconic group of performers from Melbourne, the star-studded cast perform in some of the world’s biggest shows, but when they come together in YUMMY, something truly special happens. Join Valerie Hex, Hannie Helsden, Jandruze, Zelia Rose, and Benjamin Hancock as they lead a wave of outrageous and joyful queer cabaret.

★★★★★ "A loud, avant-garde, joyous disco riot... which celebrates all the glorious misfits of the world." - The Scotsman

WINNER GREEN ROOM AWARDS Best Production
WINNER FRINGE WORLD Best Cabaret

Posted in Festival Hub Tagged Comedy

PLAYLIST

PLAYLIST
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A peek, taste and celebration of new works by LGBTQI+ writers, PLAYLIST is a full day of professional play readings by writers, theatre makers and new talent who tell bold, unique LGBTQI+ stories for audiences hungry for new voices.

PLAYLIST is a partnership between Seymour Centre, Mardi Gras and Siren Theatre Co that celebrates the creation and development of original Australian theatre with an LGBTQI+ focus.

Over the past two years, PLAYLIST has received over 100 new plays for consideration, curated a public reading program of 20 new works, engaged over 80 professional artists in the readings and welcomed full houses of engaged, curious and enthusiastic audiences.

TICKETS ARE FREE - BOOK HERE

Find out more about the plays and artists here