We’ll just come out and say it, Melbourne’s queer scene is one of the most thriving in the country. Sure, Sydney has that hallowed reputation from the legacies of Oxford Street and the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. But Melbourne, the alternative sister, has gone on and grown a winning personality. Northside is arguably the queer social epicentre, but all throughout the city you’ll find welcoming enclaves. In January, Midsumma Festival takes over the city with a bodacious bounty of festivities and artsy happenings, culminating in the Pride Parade, which has a proud 25 year history.
With the bulk of Australia’s queer festivities taking place at the start of the year during our summer season, World Pride Month in June is often overshadowed Down Under – and the weather is not very conducive to booty shorts, chaps and mesh singlets this time of year. However in spite of this, and everything else going on in the world, Melbourne’s community is determined to fly the rainbow flag and promote unity. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Follow individual venues on their websites and social media to find out when they are re-opening and what precautions they have in place.
There’s plenty of queer content to keep you engaged and feeling the community love at home too. The Gays are Revolting is a local podcast with a group of gay men that covers conversations that affect the whole queer alphabet, centred from the ‘G’ in LGBT+. Joy FM is an independent, Melbourne based radio station for LGBT+ voices, with tunes that slap and loads of programs (many with a podcast release) that cover every niche of the rainbow (multi-gender attracted and poly-curious? They’ve got you). The station also launched JOY TV during lockdowns, with programs like Kerrie and Dolly’s House Party, a live variety show hosted by drag queen Dolly Diamond and award-winning milliner Kerrie Stanley.
After some reading material? Check out the queer intersectional bookstore that refuses to be labelled.