Pride night for all to enjoy
The Wimmera’s LGBTQI community will have a chance to celebrate its history, present and future at a party in Horsham on Friday.
The first Royal Pride Night at Horsham’s Royal Hotel is the brainchild of the Wimmera Pride Project, an advocacy group formed in 2015 with the aim of educating people about issues facing the region’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex community.
The night will offer a safe space for LGBTQI people to have fun and express themselves.
A DJ will play ‘gay anthems’, an eco-friendly glitter station will be set up, Melbourne drag queen group Drags Aloud will perform throughout the night and several prizes will be raffled.
Wimmera Pride Project co-founder Loucas Vettos said the night had been chosen to coincide with Pride Month.
“We’re doing it in June because June is Pride Month, and we want it to be a yearly thing that continues on,” he said.
“Some people are assuming it’s something the Wimmera Pride Project is doing to celebrate itself, but for us it’s a little bit bigger than that.
“It’s not just about celebrating where we are at today in the rainbow community, but those who paved the way in the many years before us when homosexuality was illegal, and the Stonewall riots and all these protests happened around the world from people who wanted to live freely and be who they are.
“We wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for those people.”
Mr Vettos said it would be one of the biggest events the Wimmera Pride Project had organised.
“We’ve done movie nights, we have a youth group, we have Queer Beers on the first Friday of every month, but this is the first event that has been a celebration of pride that we’ve done as a party,” he said.
“All the people I’ve been talking to are very keen and interested in what it’s all about.
“It’s a way for people to come out and celebrate, be happy, dress up and wear whatever they are comfortable in.”
Royal Pride Night organising committee member Charee Smith said performances by Drags Aloud members Amanda Monroe and Jessica James would be a highlight of the night.
“They are two of Melbourne’s best drag queens and they are brilliant entertainers,” she said.
“They will do a couple of shows and they will be interacting with the crowd when they’re not on stage.”
Mr Vettos said the night was open to anyone over the age of 18, even if they did not identify as a member of the LGBTQI community.
“It’s a free event and open to all people of the rainbow community and all people who support it as well – allies, friends and family. Anyone is welcome to attend,” he said.
The night will start at 8pm, with shows from Drags Aloud at 10pm, 11pm and midnight.
People can search for Wimmera Pride Project on Facebook for more information.
ALL WELCOME: Horsham’s Royal Hotel publican Grant Fieldler opens the doors for Wimmera Pride Project’s Royal Pride Night on Friday. Looking forward to the event, are, from left, Pat Quaine, Renae Bartlett, Loucas Vettos, Charee Smith and Mel Jeffries. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER