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As the celebrations continue for the rainbow extravaganzas that are
the big city annual pride festivals, those of us who live in metropolitan
areas can easily forget that we are not the centre of the queer universe.
As the annual ChillOut Festival rolls around, it seems like a good time to give
a shout out to our regional friends.
ChillOut is the biggest and longest-running regional pride event in
Australia, held each March in and around Hepburn Springs and Daylesford
in Victoria. e Hepburn Shire is renowned for embracing the queer
community year round, and its rainbow heart swells with even greater pride
during the annual event, as not only is ChillOut a celebration of diversity,
it is also a celebration of all that regional Australia can o er to the queer
community. From beautiful townships to cleaner air, a lower cost of living
and easy access to amazing local produce, the advantages of ditching the
urban mayhem of city living for
the less hectic life of a country
queer is de nitely appealing.
However, for many queer
people living in regional areas
of Australia, the idea that their
community would welcome a
celebration of rainbow pride
along the lines of the ChillOut
Festival is unimaginable. Whilst
queer city folk o en take for
granted the expectation that
society will embrace our unique
perspectives, we cannot forget
that our regional counterparts
may not always be so lucky. For
many regional people, being
queer and living outside of the
established community that
larger cities provide, can o en
be an isolating experience. Even for those regional people who are out and
proud, nding ser vices, social groups and queer-friendly venues or events in
their areas can be virtually impossible. Feelings of frustration, loneliness and
depression can o en result.
Gay and Lesbian Switchboard o en receives calls from regional people
across Victoria and Tasmania, particularly as speaking to a Switchboard
counsellor is o en their only link to the queer community. Switchboard
volunteers come from a wide range of backgrounds and life experiences, and
can o er assistance with seeking out resources and ser vices in your area, as
well as providing a friendly ear to those members of our community who
may feel disconnected from the rest of us.
Gay Pride isn't just a city thing...
Queer city folk
often take for
Gay and Lesbian Switchboard
Counselling: 03 9663 2939 (Melbourne) or
1800 184 527 (regional Vic and Tas)
Monday to Thursday 6pm-10pm, Wednesdays 2pm-10pm,
Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays 6pm-9pm
Lesbians Incorporated (LINC) provides fnancial
contributions to lesbians and lesbian friendly
organisations through its community grants scheme.
LINC is now accepting applications for one large
grant of up to $10,000. Lesbians and lesbian
friendly organisations may apply
until 30 April 2011.
Applications for grants of up to $500
are also accepted at any time.
LINC is a not-for-proft organisation
managed entirely by volunteers.
For more information and application forms
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