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CONSERVATIVE ELEMENTS ECHOING
ARCHAIC DOGMA LOSE OUT THIS
MONTH AS GLBTQ COMMUNITIES
AROUND AUSTRALIA CELEBRATE
PRIDE. BY LEILA BALFAS
Pride Festivals are a whole lot of fun and
important in keeping our spirit(s) alive.
The Stonewall Riots in New York in 1969
saw a violent outbreak when police
raided gay/lesbian venues. Nine years
later in Sydney the lesbian and gay rights
movement had its own clash with
authorities. On June 24th 1978 over
100,000 marched down Oxford St
resulting in 153 arrests when march
permits were revoked. Eventually
charges were dropped and not without
resistance; it was the beginning of the
end of anti-homosexual laws. The
following year in June another parade
was held. The rest is history.
Pride Festivals all over the country this
year are spawning diverse events.
Launch parties are getting louder and
festivals are lasting longer. Lesbians in
Victoria led the celebration earlier this
year with a Pride March in Midsumma.
Included in the march were Dykes on
Bikes, Girl Bar, Geelong Lesbian group,
Greek-Lesbians, Jewish lesbians, Yellow
Kitties and King Victoria Drag Kings.
For the first time in the history of
Melbourne Pride a secondary school
marched and supported Pride as a gay
friendly school. Committee members
said it was the "biggest and loudest
It is the largest GLBTQ celebration in
Queensland and spans a month.
Carnivals, fiestas, g-strings, tireless
dancing -- expect it all when Brisbane
Samba School makes a guest appearance
taking on the streets of Brisbane at Pride
March. Its official theme being "Our
Tribes: One Community", Brizzy holds a
banquet of activities as different tribes
gather and celebrate. Tribal bands and
dancers are topping off the festival at the
Pulse with Pride party.
"A range of sporting, theatre, comedy,
forums, cabaret and political events are
happening in our programme", says
Cathy Sidders, Events Coordinator.
What's in it for the girls? Plenty was the
reply. 'Take a Walk on the Mild Side' is a
lesbian event. With entertainment and
imagination along the way, drag the kids
on a walk by Brisbane River at sunset
with a running commentary on a fictional
version of Brisbane's lesbian history.
Dyke trio The Bluehouse is doing a gig at
the Judith Wright Centre; SameSex dating
is setting up a whole month of cocktails,
dating sprees and dinners for six;
anticipate a mystery destination when the
Pink Pub Prowl sets off in a double-
decker bus through Brizzy's queer
watering holes. Feel like thrashing
conservative politics and religion? Avid
Reader is launching the publication of
'Sodomy -- History of a Christian Biblical
Myth'. And don't forget to join
Sparkinhide, Triballicious, Zormiwasa and
DJ Shame and Dud for the epitome of a
tribal party at the Drum.
"I love Pride Festival, especially Fair Day.
It's great to see people out and confident
with who they are. There is a feeling of
togetherness, I love being part of that."
Monique Forrest, President of Brisbane
Gay & Lesbian Business Network
A New York diva, an international DJ
will rip through Sydney at the Big Queer
Nation Launch for this year's festival.
After this you would want to leave those
winter doonas behind as you set away to
wineries, karaoke nights, salsa dancing,
comic shows and you can even step back
in time with a history workshop. For the
first time Sydney Pride Festival is
running for two weeks with an amazing
Launch Party taking place during the
Queen's Birthday weekend.
Organisers are "thinking bigger" this
year, says co-president Janine Tennille.
Sydney Pride is introducing new events
such as Green Kitten, Dash for Pash,
salsa dancing, a Pink Plane ride to the
Hunter Valley and the Kids After School
Camp. Lesbian events fill this year 's
festival. Stonewall is reserving a night
only for the girls, the Mega Mailbox in
the VIP Bar with an undisclosed surprise
guest. Hosting The Frocks is The
Newtown Hotel. Desires surely fulfilled
when sports lovers kick-off Netball
comps and martial arts, poets can rock up
to Green Kitten for an open mic, movie-
goers get two screenings of D.E.B.S., and
check out happy hour as The Bank Hotel
celebrates their birthday.
have always been
close to my heart,
I'm glad Pride is
continuing. In a way
June '78, where I
was arrested, was a
Gail Hewison, The
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