Rainbow on the Reef hosts first pride festival in Gladstone


gladstone rainbow on the reef festival pride festival central queensland fair day
Image: Queensland Council for LGBTI Health

Gladstone locals and visitors have celebrated all weekend as local group Rainbow on the Reef hosted their first pride festival in the region.

Rainbow on the Reef, based in Gladstone, hosted the celebrations in the Queensland city across the weekend (June 10-12).

Secretary Lee Griffiths said Rainbow on the Reef first formed in mid-2021. During their first meetings, the group set a goal of hosting the pride festival in Gladstone within 18 months.

“A lot of people that came to our first formal meeting talked about how they felt socially isolated and didn’t have a sense of connection to the community,” Griffiths told The Morning Bulletin ahead of the festival.

“That demonstrated a bit of a need. Our ultimate aim is to cultivate a sense of pride and diversity for the region. We do that through events, advocacy, education and partnering with organisations.

“One of the things we wanted to do was set up a pride festival. There’s no such event up and down the coast, from Cairns down to the Sunshine Coast.”

gladstone rainbow on the reef festival pride festival central queensland fair day
Image: courtesy of Brisbane Pride Festival

Griffiths, who is gay, moved to central Queensland from the United Kingdom a few years ago. Living in Gladstone, he said he felt a sense of disconnection from the LGBTQIA+ community.

That’s something he says Rainbow on the Reef wants to address to help young queer people in the region.

“We don’t have opportunities in our community to connect, either with one another or with services or to celebrate our diversity and our pride,” he said.

“It’s about providing our community the opportunity to see there are other people like them also living their experiences.”

gladstone rainbow on the reef festival pride festival central queensland fair day dolly llama
Image: Queensland Council for LGBTI Health

Rainbow on the Reef hosts first three day pride festival in Gladstone

Rainbow on the Reef’s inaugural pride festival kicked off with a double film screening on Friday (June 10).

Then on Saturday, hundreds gathered in Gladstone’s Marina Parklands for the fun-filled Rainbow on the Reef Fair Day, before celebrations continued at more events on Sunday.

gladstone rainbow on the reef festival pride festival central queensland fair day
Image: Rainbow on the Reef

Drag performers Leisha Luck, who is from Rockhampton, and Wanda D’Parke hosted on the Fair Day’s main stage.

Earlier this month, drag star Wanda also joined Bilo Rainbow’s inaugural Pride celebrations in her hometown of Biloela, 120 km southwest of Gladstone.

Keep up to date with Rainbow on the Reef’s events at the group’s Facebook page.

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

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

No Comment

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.