Four Queensland LGBTIQ community advocates and groups received Queens Ball Awards as Brisbane Pride streamed the iconic event online on Saturday night.
The Queens Ball is the longest-running LGBTIQ event in the world. But due to COVID-19 restrictions, the ceremony went online to coincide with this weekend’s Global Pride celebrations.
Hosts Ella Ganza and Paul Wheeler announced the winners of the four awards for 2020. These are Activist of the Year, Community Social Group of the Year, Community Support Group of the Year and Drag Performer of the Year.
Louise Kane won Activist of the Year, for her “passionate advocacy for international students studying in southeast Queensland, with a focus on those identifying as LGBTIQ.”
“This work led to the creation of support group Rainbow Hub,” Paul explained.
“During COVID-19, Rainbow Hub has provided virtual dance lessons, yoga sessions and offered free meals to students in Brisbane.”
Wendybird received Community Social Group of the Year.
“Wendybird is a not for profit community group led by a collective of LGBTIQ people,” Paul explained.
“They’re working together to provide safe and supportive spaces to allow people to connect with others with shared experiences.”
Open Doors Youth Service won Community Support Group of the Year.
“Open Doors provides support to young people with diverse genders, sex and sexualities aged 12-24 across south-east Queensland,” Ella said.
“They provide early intervention to allow young people to stabilise their situation and find safe living arrangements.”
Brisbane drag queen Bebe Gunn also won Drag Performer of the Year. Bebe joined other 2020 drag nominees in a performance during the online ceremony.
Stream the Queens Ball Virtual Awards ceremony below:
59th annual Queens Ball and Brisbane Pride’s 30th anniversary
Brisbane Pride President Bec Johnson said the 59th annual Queens Ball also coincides with the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Brisbane Pride.
“We acknowledge the wonderful work of all our elders from our communities and the strong advocates who’ve fought for LGBTIQ rights, justice and equality in Brisbane,” Johnson said.
“On behalf of Brisbane Pride, we say thank you.
“Even though COVID-19 has brought us into particular challenges, the Brisbane Pride committee is committed to keeping the Queens Ball going annually.
“[These awards] recognise both the wonderful work and the visibility of LGBTIQ+ individuals and groups within our community.
“This year we received over 120 nominations from within the LGBTIQ+ community and also over 1600 votes for the finalists.”
First Nations elder Aunty Dawn Daylight opened the online ceremony with a Welcome to Country.
Later, drag star Sellma Soul, burlesque performer Kryptonite and drag hip hop trio Thicc Shake performed during the broadcast.
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