How to join Australia’s online Pride celebrations this weekend

brisbane pride queens ball awards queens ball virtual awards ella ganza paul wheeler
Photo: Brisbane Pride

COVID-19 may have cancelled Pride festivals worldwide, but Australia will join the online Global Pride celebrations on Saturday (June 27).

On Saturday evening, Brisbane Pride are hosting this year’s 59th Annual Queens Ball Virtual Awards online from 7pm.

The Queens Ball is the longest-running LGBTIQ event in the world. Brisbane Pride President Rebecca Johnson told the team were determined the event go ahead.

“For 59 years, the Queens Ball has celebrated the diversity, inclusion, and resilience of our communities,” Johnson said.

“It is essential we continue that glorious tradition. This virtual event ensures our communities have the opportunity to celebrate probably their most cherished tradition.”

Hosts Paul Wheeler and Ella Ganza (pictured, centre) will announce the winners of four community awards at the Ball.

This year the awards are Activist of the Year, Community Social Group of the Year, Community Support Group of the Year and Drag Performer of the Year.

The four Activist of the Year nominees are intersex advocate Alex David, trans and disability advocate Annabelle Oxley, suicide prevention project officer Ged Farmer and LGBTIQ+ international student advocate Louise Kane.

Watch the Queens Ball Virtual Awards at the Brisbane Pride website from 7pm on Saturday evening. celebrating our Isolation Ball

Ahead of the Queens Ball ceremony, will also livestream our Isolation Ball on Facebook Live on the night.

In the special presentation, we will launch the Queens Ball book, recounting the long-running event’s incredible history. We’ll hear Queens Ball founder Dame Sybil von Thorndyke’s memories of the event’s conception.

The Ball began in 1962 when members of Brisbane’s LGBTIQ+ communities took refuge from authorities at an isolated mountaintop village to celebrate the Queen’s Birthday weekend.

Watch the livestream on the QNews Facebook page from 6pm on Saturday evening.

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras join Global Pride

Earlier this year, coronavirus restrictions on mass gatherings forced the cancellation of pride festivals around the world.

Instead, LGBTIQ organisations will come together for the 24-hour Global Pride virtual broadcast.

The free show will livestream from 3pm Saturday afternoon (Australian time) on the Global Pride website as well as on YouTube and other platforms.

During the broadcast, Mardi Gras will present two and a half hours of footage from 4:15pm Australian time from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.

Brisbane Pride, Midsumma, Tropical Fruits, WA Pride, Equality Australia as well as many more will all appear in the broadcast.

Aussie performers taking part include Courtney Act, Betty Who, G Flip, Mama Alto, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir, Dannii Minogue, Olivia Newton-John, and more.

Organiser Julian Sanjivan from InterPride said, “By taking Pride online, we’re making sure that LGBTQIA+ people everywhere can still experience the joy and community of Pride.

“We’re also for the first time are enabling people to take part in Pride wherever they are.

“This means people who aren’t out, or who are living in socially conservative countries, can take part. [This] support will mean so much to marginalised LGBTQIA+ people everywhere.”

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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