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By Cath Pope in Melbourne
GLASSHOUSE BACK IN
In what was probably the most
anticipated opening since Sharon’s legs in Basic
Instinct, Melbourne’s famous lesbian frat house,
The Glasshouse, finally flung open its doors
after months of extensive refurbishment. Having
undergone almost a complete transformation, the
venue now boasts a restaurant, function area,
dance floor and bar. New owner Maria Frendo says
she has a definite direction in mind. “I’d like to see
a return to cabaret style entertainment catering
to a variety of interests. Because we have a 5am
licence, guests can enjoy a meal and stay on for
after dinner entertainment and dancing”. While the
Glasshouse now caters to everyone, “straight, gay
and in-between”, Melbourne dykes will be pleased
to see some familiarity with the Bitch is Black
returning monthly from May, and the legendary
Dolly’s Karaoke every Sunday night.
RELATIONSHIP REGISTER OFFICIAL
On April 2, with all the razzle-dazzle expected
from the gay and lesbian community, including
an emotionally charged performance by the
Melbourne Gay and Lesbian Chorus, the City
of Melbourne launched its relationship registry.
Hosted by gay favourite, Tracey Bartrum, the
launch was a major achievement recognising the
relationships of same-sex couples in Victoria.
Openly gay Deputy Lord Mayor, Gary Singer told
over 100 guests gathered that while “a dedicated
committed relationship exists by the force of
love, not law,” he urged the state and federal
governments to follow the City of Melbourne’s lead
and recognise gay relationships.
By Madeleine Marx-Bentley in
HEALTH CONFERENCE IN
The 6th National LGBT Health
Conference will be hosted in Brisbane in mid-June.
“Health in Difference: Changing Spaces Changing
Faces” will be held at Rydges South Bank hotel
over the two days before the Brisbane Pride Rally
& March weekend.
Addressing HIV health, family, aging, smoking
illegal drugs, youth, mental health and legal
issues, the conference “is about diversity and a
commitment to the wellbeing of all individuals
within the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender
(GLBT) communities.” For expressions of interest
from potential participants and/or presenters,
contact the conference at healthindifference07.
org.au or phone (07) 3211 7178.
DARWIN PRIDE 2007
Australia’s most northerly capital-city Pride festival
will once again get Darwin grooving between
May 26 and June 11. Opening with Fair Day at
Brown’s Mart and Civic Park (followed by the
usual after-party at the city’s only G&L club,
Throb), the two weeks of the 2007 Darwin Pride
festival program is certainly full. Events range from
standard Pride party fare through to lawn bowls
and “Writer’s Cramp” – a literary event run at a
bookshop in the gorgeous Cullen Bay – there is
something for everyone. See darwinpride.com/
for more information.
By Vic Matchett in
PINK SOFA TURNS
The first course plates
have been cleared,
rinsed and placed neatly
into the dishwasher. The Riedels are dutifully
recharged with one of those lovely aged buttery
Clare Valley Chardonnays and I’m listening to
the sweet banter of chicks’ chatter, a giggle and
a squeal of excitement.
“O.K…..so what’s your user name?”
“Ohh...here we go again...I don’t know if I
should tell you...we may have already messaged
“Oh come on…it’s a great way to meet other
chicks. I’m telling you it’s a total smorgasbord.
I went out on three dates last week...did you
know such and such are living in bliss since
And on it goes: yet another swanky Dyke
Dinner Party soaked in conversation of South
Australia’s Lesbian Claim to Fame, Pink Sofa.
com. Last month saw Pink Sofa turn seven: an
outstanding achievement for any small business.
It now boasts an international membership base
of around 120,000 and grows by the day from
as far field as the Antarctica to the Christmas
Islands, Malta, India and Iceland.
Director Liz James (pictured) was living in the
US when she began to feel isolated and realised
there were other lesbians in that position. Upon
her return to Australia, she set to devising a
plan that would enable lesbians to connect. A
little market research and Liz saw a very good
opportunity. The vision was to develop an
internet site that would be community orientated
and provide a service via website and product.
With the aid of a NEIS start-up grant, Liz
completed a small business course and the
humble beginnings evolved from her home
office which doubled as her bedroom. She
thought it important to have a business name
that was creative, friendly, and suggestive,
hence Pink Sofa: a comfortable place to sit,
relax and have a chat.
Liz hired a web designer and in March 2000,
Pink Sofa.com was officially launched. The first
twelve months saw the Pink Sofa run as a free
service predominantly supported by Adelaide
chicks. Momentum grew via word of mouth
and advertising in national press. The Pink
Sofa focus is now on grass roots community
marketing via sponsorship, magazines and
community events. The global market is so
expansive I watch with keen interest to just
what extent this home grown Adelaide business
might evolve. Happy 7th Birthday Pink Sofa.
By Chelsea Stringer in Sydney
If you are active in the arts, cultural
industries, or the community
cultural life of Marrickville, Council wants to hear
from you. Cultural planning consultant Susan
Conroy has been engaged to report on the
cultural activities and resources in the area. Ms
Conroy and research partner Patricia Parker OAM
(pictured) will conduct consultations, seminars and
surveys in the community generating research
that will help to create a comprehensive map of
the cultural landscape of the Marrickville area,
which will provide ideas that can be explored
and investigated for future directions. For more
information visit marrickville.org.au or contact the
Cultural Development Officer on (02) 9519 6890.
FOSTER PARENTS WANTED
Life Without Barriers is seeking GLBT couples and
single people interested in sharing their homes
with children and young people in crisis. The
organisation values diversity and is very supportive
of the GLBT community seeking full-time and
weekend carers. Benefits include training and
professional support satisfaction from helping a
child or young person in need; attractive tax free
financial remuneration; 24 hour on call support;
regular support from a team of coordinators, youth
workers and psychologists; carer network meetings.
If you would like to become a carer and be a part of
this dedicated team, please call Rita Karaminas on
0408 226 504.
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