The Coming Back Out Ball is a spectacular social event celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) elders.
Hosted by the much-loved Australian arts icon Robyn Archer, The Coming Back Out Ball will be presented at the Melbourne Town Hall as a premiere event of the 2017 Victorian Seniors Festival in association with the 3rd National LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Conference. Created and produced by All The Queens Men, this night-of-nights will blend showbiz bells and whistles, community celebration, heartfelt story telling, dinner and dancing.
This spectacular evening will be free for LGBTI elders 65+ (bookings essential); each guest will receive dinner and drinks, with entertainment by leading LGBTI performers including Robyn Archer, Carlotta, Deborah Cheetham, Toni Lalich, Gerry Connolly and Lois Weaver supported by an orchestra conducted by Kathleen McGuire.
The Coming Back Out Ball is inspired by pioneering research revealing that some LGBTI elders conceal their sexual orientation or gender identity when they access aged care services – because they believe they are not safe. With so much change over the course of their lifetime, some LGBTI elders have lived through a period when being LGBTI could result in imprisonment, enforced medical ‘cures’, loss of employment and rejection by family and friends. For this generation, the first to fight for equality, impending old age may mean going back into the closet, or the risk of being deprived companionship or quality care when they need it most.
But there is hope for the older LGTBI community – the Victorian Government has expunged gay convictions and apologised to older gay men for the treatment they received; aged care service providers are embracing strategies to become more LGBTI inclusive; and Victoria will soon create Australia’s first LGBTI Pride Centre. The Coming Back Out Ball augments research and social services – it’s a public celebration and declaration to LGBTI elders of their worth and value, acknowledging their rich lived experiences.
The long-term vision is that The Coming Back Out Ball becomes an adored event on Melbourne’s social calendar; understood for its inclusivity and cultural significance.
The Coming Back Out Ball is created by All The Queens Men and presented as a premiere event of the Victorian Seniors Festival in association with the 3rd National LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Conference. Supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, City of Melbourne, The Margaret Lawrence Bequest and Victorian State Government. Auspiced by Auspicious Arts Projects and Victorian AIDS Council.