A forgotten community now given some dancing shoes

LGBTI is an acronym we hear a lot in the 21st century. And as it becomes more commonly used in everyday language, it is easy to forget that the LGBTI community has fought long and hard for it to be this way.

A new monthly dance event aims to recognise and celebrate the courage of LGBTI elders, who blazed the trail to wider acceptance and understanding among the wider community.

Supported by The City of Yarra and held at the Fitzroy Town Hall, All the Queen’s Men welcomes LGBTI elders and their partners. Although targeted at LGTBI elders 65+, organiser Tristan Meecham emphasises that everyone is welcome.

Photo: Bryony Jackson

When asked about the group, Mr Meecham said, “We are interested in creating frameworks for people to participate and perform in, and through those frameworks they are often seen in a different light.”

Mr Meecham along with business partner Bec Reid, created the event in the lead-up to The Coming Back Out Ball, which will be held in October.

“We found that there were limited social spaces for LGBTI elders to join together and connect, so this is an initiative we hope develops traction over the next year or so,” he said.

The Coming Back Out Ball will debut at Victorian Seniors Festival, and will celebrate and honor LGBTI elders, their stories, and their history.

“There is obviously a level of invisibility that happens as people get old and it’s really important just to make sure that all of the rainbow community is catered for,” Mr Meecham said.

The dance club is being held in the hope that the participants can spring into dancing shape before the big event, while meeting other LGBTI elders in a friendly environment. The club is also a safe place for LGTBI elders to come and share their stories in a judgment-free environment.

Photo: Bryony Jackson

Mr Meecham said attendance varies each week with some weeks drawing in a small group and others a larger crowd of around 40 or 50 people.

No previous dancing experience or skill is needed to join the monthly event; enthusiastic dancers with two left feet are encouraged to attend.

A tempting food and drinks menu is on offer to satisfy an appetite or quench a thirst worked up while hitting the dance floor.

For any further information surrounding the dance club head here  or contact Tristan Meecham on 0421 572 221

Written by Grace Evans 

Grace Evens

Grace, a third-year journalism student at Deakin, is a bubbly and vibrant personality who is always looking for the next challenge, writing wise. With a strong passion for telling stories for others to hear, she has always enjoyed interviewing people and creating something out of their words, whilst also getting to know the person.

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