THIS year’s gay and lesbian Spring Migration Festival will be reinvigorated as a nine-day celebration showcasing towns across the North East and Border.
Falls Creek, Albury, Lake Hume, Beechworth and Yackandandah will all host events at the festival, which aims to break down the barriers between gay and straight communities.
Organiser Gary Hayward said the festival would kick off on Friday, August 28 with three days of fun at Falls Creek, including a masquerade ball, before wrapping up with the traditional Father’s Day market hosted by the Yackandandah CFA on September 6.
“We’re hoping people will support it and it will be the biggest festival ever,” he said.
“We hope we can achieve our goal of breaking down the barriers between gay and straight and curb the suicide rate among gay youth.”
The festival was working with the WayOut project to educate the community on the impact of homophobia on young gay people.
Mr Hayward said the festival was also a celebration for gay and lesbian couples who, from July, will be given the same rights as de facto heterosexual partners when inequalities are removed in more than 100 areas of law, including tax, superannuation, health, aged care and employment.
“It’s going to be a celebration of us having the same rights as all Australians, except one — marriage,” he said.
The festival will include a cocktail party, fashion show and disco at Lake Hume Resort, a spring Olympics, a dance party at La Trobe at Beechworth and a night out at the Zed Bar.
The fifth festival comes after claims of homophobia hampered last year’s celebrations and briefly put its future in doubt.
For details visit springmigration.com.au or wayout.org.au for details on the WayOut project.