A statewide celebration of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) communities will become a staple of Victoria’s annual events calendar, as the Victorian Government keeps supporting rainbow communities.
The Victorian Budget 2022/23 includes $14.7 million to support and celebrate LGBTIQ+ Victorians. This investment will support Victoria’s first whole-of-government, 10-year LGBTIQ+ strategy, Pride in our Future – designed to drive work to change laws and policies, strengthen state-based services and support LGBTIQ+ organisations and events to drive meaningful change over the next decade.
“We’ve always said that in Victoria, equality is not negotiable – because every Victorian, without exception, deserves to feel safe, supported and equal,” said Minister for Equality Martin Foley.
“We’re investing in the tailored services LGBTIQ+ Victorians need, and the Victorians we need to deliver them – and we’ll keep supporting and celebrating our rainbow communities for generations to come.”
Some $1.6 million will support a new specialist LGBTIQ+ legal service to drive important improvements in the legal sector. Based in the Victorian Pride Centre, the service will provide legal advice and representation for LGBTIQ+ people that’s tailored to their needs – recognising many continue to face discrimination simply for being who they are.
Funding of $6.8 million over four years will deliver annual statewide events that give all Victorians the opportunity to celebrate LGBTIQ+ communities.
Community-led events will also be supported through a $625,000 investment in the flagship Pride Events and Festivals Fund, building on the success of the inaugural Melbourne Pride, which ran across the 2021/22 summer to mark more than 40 years since the decriminalisation of sex between men in Victoria.
The event brought thousands of people together from across Victoria to celebrate diverse sexualities, genders and sex characteristics and help heal historic wounds.
Young LGBTIQ+ Victorians will receive additional support with $3.2 million going towards a trial of several safe spaces for LGBTIQ+ young people in western Victoria – providing access to targeted mental health and wellbeing support close to home.
The Government will keep supporting the health and wellbeing of trans and gender diverse Victorians, with $1.5 million to be invested in the Trans and Gender Diverse in Community Health Program – ensuring trans and gender diverse communities continue to access the services and support they need.
A further $1 million will go towards grants that build the capacity of LGBTIQ+ organisations and a program that supports emerging LGBTIQ+ leaders to develop their skills and networks.
This funding builds on our initial $6.5 million investment to kickstart delivery of Pride in our Future, including training to make organisations safer and more inclusive, health and wellbeing support for people with an intersex variation and continuing peer support for trans and gender diverse Victorians.
Image: Hannah Cuthbertson, Minister Martin Foley and The Huxleys at Rose Chongs Costumes preparing for Melbourne Pride earlier this year – courtesy of Midsumma Festival