LGBTIQ elders invited to special event at Brisbane Festival

coming back out brisbane all the queens men brisbane festival lgbtiq elders seniors
Photo: All The Queens Men

The team behind Victoria’s glitzy Coming Back Out Ball now want to celebrate Queensland’s LGBTIQ elders at Brisbane Festival in September.

The glittery gala for seniors, held in Melbourne in 2017, is a red carpet evening of live entertainment, dancing and pride.

Now artist Tristan Meecham and his team are coming to Brisbane to meet and hear from Queensland’s LGBTIQ elders.

Meecham runs arts collective All the Queens Men. They hold regular dance events for seniors to tackle the social isolation and invisibility they sadly experience.

During COVID-19, their monthly LGBTIQ+ Elders Dance Club has moved online, allowing community members nationwide to safely take part.

And on September 20, the team are holding a live dance event at The Tivoli to hear from local elders about creating an event dedicated to them.

They’re working with Queensland choreographer Brian Lucas, drag queen Chinta Woo-Alcock, photographer Ivan Nunn and others.

“We’re connecting with our elders and listening and learning and documenting their stories,” Meecham told

“We want to hear from them and let them lead the way in terms of the music and cultural decisions.

“We acknowledge the different local history here in Queensland and also want to complement the work people are already doing.

“Hopefully over the next 12 months we can then hold a series of dance clubs before a larger event in 2021.”

Helping LGBTIQ seniors connect with each other

Tristan Meecham said all are welcome at the Brisbane Festival event at the Tivoli. The event will be strictly “physically distanced, but socially connected.”

“We hope people feel safe and secure coming to this event,” he said.

“We’re undertaking COVID Safe procedures and also monitoring it day by day.”

He said All The Queens Men’s events are about connecting with older members of the LGBTIQ community, as well as helping them connect with each other.

“They’re the pioneers that have led the way and shaped all the things that we’ve inherited,” he said.

“We do live in a bit of an ageist culture and we need to honour those that have come before and fought for our rights.

“We want to treat them as the kings and queens that they are.”

You can register for the free Coming Back Out Brisbane event from Monday (August 3). Find out more at the Brisbane Festival website.

Brisbane Festival 2020 kicks off September 4

Brisbane Festival organisers unveiled the 2020 program earlier this week. The annual festival is celebrating live music, comedy, drama and dance with 490 performances from September 4 to 26.

The festival begins with Jumoo, a city-wide First Nations smoking ceremony led by Yuggera and Turrbal man Shannon Ruska.

This year, organisers have replaced the annual Riverfire with laser installation Sunsuper Night Sky. The laser, light and sound show will beam from over a dozen rooftops across Brisbane.

To ensure social distancing, punters can watch the show from hundreds of vantage points across the city on numerous evenings.

Brisbane Festival Artistic Director Louise Bezzina said they curated the festival’s “Boldly Brisbane” program to “bring personal and human connection back to everyday life.”

“The past months have been challenging for many of us,” Bezzina said.

“Now, more than ever, Brisbane needs hope, inspiration and celebration.

“Programming this year’s festival was a bumpy ride but one that allowed us to stretch our imagination.

“[We’re] thrilled to employ the largest number of Queensland artists in our history to help deliver a ‘Boldly Brisbane’ festival.”

Find the full Brisbane Festival 2020 lineup at the website here.

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