From a comedy gala showcasing Australia’s funniest LGBTQI+ talent to an insightful series of talks held by queer thought leaders, here's four enticing events confirmed for February!
"In response to the pandemic, and to ensure we’re providing safe spaces for the community to come together, this year’s Mardi Gras festival will look different than it has in the past," said Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger.
We're delighted to announce the return of the Laugh Out Proud comedy gala, Queer Thinking, My Trans Story and new event, My Drag Story. Each of the Queer Thinking, My Trans Story and My Drag Story sessions will also be AUSLAN interpreted, will take place in a live COVID-safe format, and also be available digitally for people who are unable to join us in person.
After a sold out inaugural event in February 2020, Mardi Gras’ comedy gala is back for a night of belly laughs with Australia's best and brightest LGBTQI+ comedians. Featuring a stellar line-up of hilarious queer stand-up talent, Laugh Out Proud is Mardi Gras' comedy event of the year! Hosted by the award-winning Nath Valvo, Laugh Out Proud has loads of comedic talent for one incredible night only - including: Geraldine Hickey, Mel Buttle, Thomas Jaspers, Rosie Piper, Margot Tanjutco, Selina Jenkins, Jake Howie and Jay Wymarra.
At a time when the trans experience is becoming more visible we still rarely see stories by trans and gender diverse people on a screen, in theatres, a bookshelf or in popular culture and when we do, they focus on coming out and surgery or discrimination and hate crimes. From the personal to the political My Trans Story features proud trans and gender diverse storytellers from Sydney and beyond, including Tea Uglow, Andrew Guy plus more to be announced, celebrating their complex, sometimes funny, often fearless, always fierce histories.
With Priscilla, Queen of the Desert stamped on our national identity and Drag Race sashaying across screens there’s no doubt Drag has sunk its six-inch heels into the mainstream. From the heady days of Oxford Street’s “Golden Mile” to the diverse fabulousness many decades later – our nation’s alumni of drag artists have proudly carved a cheeky and quintessentially Aussie path through our cultural playbook. My Drag Story uncorsets seven queens, kings and gender-defying royals to reveal what’s beyond the painted façade, including Amelia Airhead, Cindy Pastel, Nana Miss Koori and Sexy Galexy – full lineup to come.
Queer Thinking is Mardi Gras’ program of talks where audiences are invited to unpack a range of issues faced by the LGBTQI community both in Australia and abroad in thought-provoking conversations about the world we live in.
Queer Thinking talks include:
The Fights Ahead
Almost five years after publishing his Quarterly Essay Moral Panic 101 – as well as the marriage equality “Yes” vote – writer Benjamin Law regathers with activists, parents and policy-makers to identify where the new anti-queer culture wars are located – and what needs to be done to defend the most vulnerable in our community.
Raising the rainbow flag: Rising up for ‘GAYRABIA’
Take a trip through ‘Gayrabia’ with a panel of queer Arabs sharing their stories of resistance and resilience, pride and party. In many parts of the Middle East, it’s still illegal to be gay. While Arab Australians lives aren’t under the same threat as those in the Middle East, some struggle with being openly gay, the fear of losing family and being cut off is all too real. Join award winning journalist, TV presenter and out and proud 'Gayarab' Patrick Abboud as he hosts a panel of local and international queer heroes rising up for ‘Gayrabia’, each sharing their personal stories live for the first time.
Dating when you're different - Tips & Tricks with Julie McCrossin & Friends
Do we really embrace difference in our Rainbow communities? How warm is our welcome to newcomers? A panel will share their five-point-plans for successful dating in discussion with lesbian icon and new grandmother, Julie McCrossin. Join us for a frank discussion with revelations of failure followed by the promise of success - plus songs from the heart. Tips from the audience will be encouraged!