LGBTIQ+ supporters drown out ‘sad’ Proud Boys protest at Pride Centre

LGBTIQ+ supporters drown out Proud Boys in Victorian Pride Centre protest
Images: Instagram, Twitter

A crowd of LGBTIQ+ supporters have vastly outnumbered far-right Proud Boys protesters outside the Victorian Pride Centre, after protest threats postponed a queer youth event.

Youth event Glitter Nova was slated for the Victorian Pride Centre in St Kilda on Thursday night. Glitter Nova was to feature a drag show, queer comedy and musical performances, for young people aged 12-25.

But organisers Stonnington Youth Services postponed the event over safety concerns after far-right extremist groups threatened to protest.

On Thursday evening, dozens of LGBTIQ+ supporters attended the Pride Centre anyway. They drowned out a group of around five Proud Boys protesters who also showed up.

Victoria Police have confirmed they arrested a protester who “failed to move on”. The man was pictured wearing a Proud Boys hoodie.

Supporters chanted “You’ll always lose in Melbourne” in response to the far right protesters’ anti-LGBTIQ+ and anti-Semitic rhetoric.

Proud Boys member arrested as supporters say ‘hate will never win’

Drag artist Belial B’Zarr, who was scheduled to perform at the event, shared footage of LGBTIQ+ supporters waving flags. The performer shared a message to the young people.

“To everyone who wanted to enjoy tonight’s GlitterNova event – this is how many people love you, how many people care for you and how many people will show up when you’re in need,” Belial said.

“Hate will never win. You are loved.”

Victoria Police said several officers also attended the Victorian Pride Centre to “ensure community safety”.

“One man was arrested for failing to move on and the remainder of those present left the area without incident,” a spokesperson said.

“Police will continue to run proactive patrols of the area to deter any anti-social behaviour and will work with partner agencies to ensure safety of all community members for future events.”

‘The safety of our community is paramount’

Stonnington Youth Services and the council earlier said the “difficult decision” to postpone came after police advice.

“The wisest and most prudent course of action was to postpone the event in order for us to ensure the safety of our attendees,” a statement said.

“The decision to postpone has not been taken lightly. The safety of our community is paramount.

“Our decision to postpone the event in no way legitimises the statements made by the protest groups.”

Glitter Nova organisers have vowed to reschedule the event to a later date.

@reubenkaye Who realy cares about the safety of children. #reubenkaye #queer #pride #victorianpridecentre #midsumma #naarm #lgbtqia ♬ original sound – ReubenKaye

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