A new collective of Gladstone locals from the LGBTIQ+ community and allies, Rainbow on the Reef, have called for feedback on establishing a Pride Fair Day in the regional Queensland city.
The group first formed in March, and have now set a goal to establish a fair day event in Gladstone within the next 18 months.
Rainbow on the Reef volunteer Heather Richards said they want to “cultivate a culture of pride in identity and diversity for the Gladstone region, and beyond.”
“Our first goal is to achieve a successful, inclusive community event that is supported by the whole community,” she said.
This week, the group launched a survey to get feedback from the community on what the event should look like.
“Community members and organisations [can] anonymously share with us what they want to see. We invite everyone to have their say,” Richard said.
Gladstone need LGBTIQ ‘presence and connection’
Gay man Chris Possingham is a Gladstone local. Over the years he’s seen the region grow and become more inclusive.
“I can see how important it is to have a footprint, presence and connection for LGBTQIA+ community in the region,” he said.
He said doing so would reduce feelings of isolation, loneliness and improve mental health.
“I am passionate about creating visibility so our LGBTQIA+ youth have role models and don’t feel the need to edit themselves to feel safe,” Chris said.
The Rainbow on the Reef group has also received the support of Gladstone state MP Glenn Butcher.
Members recently met with him, and he enthusiastically backed their work to “create connections” for Gladstone’s LGBTIQ community.
“We need to continue making steps forward to ensure equality and inclusion for all in our community,” Butcher said.
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