THE State Government has announced funding for a range of local LGBTIQ+ pride events.
Revealed last week, money will go towards Bendigo Pride Festival, Bendigo Queer Film Festival, and the Queer Country Art Exhibition.
Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards, said the pride offerings were key to inclusion in the region.
“The Bendigo Queer Arts Festival’s events provide important visibility for LGBTIQ+ people in Central Victoria and we’re proud to be supporting them as they continue their work,” she said.
With a range of LGBTIQ+ events planned, Bendigo Pride Festival director John Richards said the backing was “phenomenal.”
“The whole thing about being queer is that you are not born into your own culture, so you have to find your tribe,” he said.
“In some ways, I think pride events, trans-clothing swaps all that sort of stuff is almost more important in the regions than it is in the big cities.
“People in Melbourne, Sydney they’ve got lots of resources, we don’t have that here.
“It’s not that hard to make the world better, and that’s what we’re doing.”
Trans and Gender Diverse Bendigo and Beyond president Zara Jones said her organisation would like to see more businesses choosing to “buy-in” to support the festivals.
“We love to see rainbows, we love to see trans colours, but what we want is it done ethically,” she said.
“If they’re going to be profiteering from using those symbols for our community then perhaps thinking about how they can contribute back to the community, and whether that’s holding an event, raising awareness, or contributing financially.
“There’s lots of different ways they can contribute to raising awareness about LGBTI people and creating a safer space for everybody.”