Pride night for all to en­joy

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News - BY COLIN MACGIL­LIVRAY

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

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