Victoria’s Pride showcases LGBTQIA+ celebrations across Victoria

Melbourne-Pride-2022-courtesy-of-MidsummaPresented by Midsumma, in partnership with the Victorian Government, Victoria’s Pride is a landmark program of pride events and projects held across Victoria this summer as part of a state-wide celebration of LGBTQIA+ communities.

The Regional Program of Victoria’s Pride is made up of 13 events that will paint the state rainbow and culminate in a one-day free arts and cultural street party in Melbourne’s iconic Gertrude and Smith Street precinct on Sunday, 11 February 2024 – Victoria’s Pride, a grand celebration of LGBTQIA+ communities from across the state.

“I’m delighted to see such diversity in the activities put forward by an ever-increasing number of passionate and dedicated LGBTQIA+ community groups and organisations who are working hard towards a more inclusive Victoria,” said Minister for Equality, Harriet Shing.

Our regional and rural LGBTQIA+ communities are strong and thriving, and along with providing more opportunities for rainbow communities across the state to connect and express pride in who they are, events like these give all Victorians the chance to show support for LGBTQIA+ people.”

In addition to the street party, three towns in Victoria will also celebrate with Queer-ways, a project which aims to document queer stories in communities across the state. The stories shared will feature in the Queer-ways’ augmented reality Queer Map, a permanent record of the towns’ rainbow communities. The project is coming to:

  • Shepparton (Yorta Yorta Country) as part of OUTintheOpen Festival on 18 November 2023
  • Ballarat (Wadawurrung Country) at the Art Gallery of Ballarat on 25 November 2023
  • Geelong (Wadawurrung Country) at Platform Arts on 2 December 2023

On Friday 9 February 2024 – LINE Wangaratta presents Pride Fair Day – a celebration of LGBTQIA+ culture, music, art and performance in a safe and inclusive space.

Presented by Sunbury Aboriginal Cooperation, Sounds Gay, I’m In! on Saturday 10 February is a beautiful summer picnic to provide a unique intergenerational opportunity for First Nations LGBTQIA+ communities, non-indigenous LGBTIQA+ communities and allies, to come together and celebrate intersectional Pride.

YES Youth Hub presents The Bass Coast Youth Pride Prom – a celebration event for LGBTQIA+ young people and their allies, aged 12 – 25 on Saturday 10 February. An event designed by young people, for young people, every aspect of the celebration is determined by the Pride Tribe.

Expression Australia & Deaf Hub Bendigo presents a series of workshops and interviews to increase connection opportunities and enhance the lives of Deaf LGBTQIA+ people living in Regional Victoria. Celebrating Deaf LGBTQIA+ Pride is running between October and December.

Gippsland Pride Festival is a series of Pride celebrations all over the Gippsland Region happening between November 2023 – February 2024.

Goulburn Valley Pride presents Our Queer History Museum | Under the Big Top. Between 10 November and 10 February, regional LGBTQIA+ young people will work with LGBTQIA+ elders to capture and showcase their lived histories at several queer cultural/arts events including OUTintheOPEN Festival and Under The Big Top.

Macedon Ranges Accessible Arts Inc. presents Queerthentic Art Prize – an exhibition that reveals authentic stories from regional LGBTQIA+ artists; from the mundane, fabulous culture, to the influence of queer history on past, present, and future. Running from 25 January – 11 February 2024 at the Old Auction House in Kyneton.

On Friday 8 December, a live panel discussion will take place at LaNCE TV Studios in Ballarat. The intersection of Disability and LGBTQIA+ in Rural Victoria explores the lives and intersections of LGBTQIA+ regional Victorians living with a disability. This panel discussion will be attended by a studio audience and will also be broadcast on C31
Melbourne and Facebook.

On Wednesday 31 January, Transcending the Narrative takes trans and gender diverse people from around rural and regional Victoria on a journey of writing, re-writing, and transcending their story.

Queer Out Here: Words and Art from Regional Victoria is a poignant anthology presented by Scratch Arts that spotlights the vibrant and diverse voices of queer writers and artists from regional Victoria.

This collection masterfully weaves together poems, essays, short stories, and visual art, offering readers a multifaceted glimpse into the experiences, dreams, and realities of LGBTQIA+ individuals away from the metropolitan hubs. Copies will be available to purchase at Victoria’s Pride.

Presented by Bendigo Queer Arts Festival, The Big Book of Queer Bendigo is a hardback, full-colour coffee table book exploring and celebrating LGBTQIA+ history of Bendigo and the Goldfields region. The book will be developed in Bendigo and launched at Victoria’s Pride Street Party in Fitzroy.

Victoria’s Pride Street Party takes place on Sunday 11 February, on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri people, from 11.00am to 9.00pm. It includes multiple stages with free, live entertainment including music, comedy, guest speakers, circus, drag and art installations.

Victoria’s Pride builds on the success of Melbourne Pride, a state-wide event held across the 2021-22 summer to mark more than 40 years since the decriminalisation of sex between men in Victoria. The event provides an opportunity for people across the state to demonstrate their pride in and support for LGBTQIA+ communities, as well as for LGBTQIA+ people to connect with one another and feel represented.

“We are excited once again to see the diversity of statewide representation for LGBTQIA+ arts and cultural culture projects which will showcase regionally based LGBTQIA+ artists and highlight diverse LGBTQIA+ voices, their creativity, and their stories from all across Victoria,” said Midsumma CEO, Karen Bryant.

Midsumma Festival returns from Sunday 21 January to Sunday 11 February 2024. Major Midsumma event days: Midsumma Carnival – 21 January 2024 – Alexandra Gardens, Melbourne |  Midsumma Pride March – 4 February 2024 – Fitzroy Street and Catani Gardens, St Kilda | Victoria’s Pride – 11 February 2024 – Smith St and Gertrude St, Fitzroy/Collingwood

Image: Victoria’s Pride – courtesy of Midsumma