Pride Fair Day back with much to celebrate this time around

EVENT RETURN: Jarrod Lehman, Alison Kincaid, Nathan Lorenzo, Seth Cheuner, Helen Best and Sheridan Williams have helped organise Saturday. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE
EVENT RETURN: Jarrod Lehman, Alison Kincaid, Nathan Lorenzo, Seth Cheuner, Helen Best and Sheridan Williams have helped organise Saturday. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE

Much has happened since the inaugural Border Pride Fair Day took place in 2016.

For one, something the event’s organisers and supporters campaigned passionately for – marriage equality – was finally made a reality.

An LGBTQI Alliance has also been formed and will take the event into the future.

It will again take place from 10am to 3pm at QEII Square on Saturday, which is also the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

Alliance chairperson Nathan Lorenzo said it would feature entertainment, speakers, interactive stalls and a best-dressed pet competition.

“We have a mixture of services from health to community, we have some local businesses coming, the stalls are going to be focused around activities,” he said.

“It’s to start informal conversations with people, but it’s also about celebration and having a day to meet people and have some fun.”

Mr Lorenzo said the event was driven this year by members of the LGBTQI Alliance, which was born from Victorian gender and sexuality commissioner Rowena Allen’s visit in the region as part of an equality roadshow. 

“The alliance has now been running for about six months and a lot of people have engaged really well with it, we have 50-something members now and a regular attendance of 10 to 20 people,” he said.

“Now it’s set up, this event has been adsorbed by the alliance and will continue on, and we’re hoping to keep it annual.”

The committee decided not to run the day in 2017 for a number of reasons.

Alliance member Sheridan Williams said one contributing factor was the same-sex marriage postal survey. 

“With the marriage equality debate, there was so much work going on and so much fatigue in the community and it was time to review and take stock of where we were,” she said. 

“Now it takes on more of a celebratory feel, rather than a political, rallying call-to-arms.”

The Border Pride Fair Day, which will also provide free STI screenings, has received funding from ACON and Albury Council and the support from a number of local businesses.

LGBTI events in Victoria will be supported by a new Pride Events Festivals fund, which received $2 million from the state government this month.