By Danielle Kutchel
Midsumma is coming to Casey for the first time this April, providing a space for the local LGBTQIA+ community to connect and celebrate.
Midsumma is Australia’s premier queer arts and cultural organisation, bringing together a diverse mix of LGBTQIA+ artists, performers, communities and audiences.
The relaxed pack-your-own picnic event at Selandra Community Hub on Sunday 18 April will feature:
– a warm and welcoming conversation with local residents led by queer, non-binary transgender author / activist / advocate Nevo Zisin about culture, faith, intersectionality, LGBTIQ+ identity and connection and belonging
– drag story telling by Jesse Dean and Rex Spandex
– a dance session led by LifeView, a Rainbow Tick accredited provider of residential care
– musical and dance performances
– a chill out space
– face painting for all ages
– view Connection Arts Space’s new art exhibition and make your own pride flag
– plus, take home a binge bag from Casey-Cardinia Libraries’ Rainbow Collection of LGBTIQ+ books
– opportunities to connect with and learn about local organisations
The event is open to the whole community, for the young and the young at heart.
Jobi Petty, community organiser at Casey Rainbow Community, said the organisers were driven by a desire to increase connection and inclusion for the LGBTQIA+ community in the south-east.
The event aims to set the scene for the provision of further resources and events for the community, and is expected to benefit mental wellbeing, inclusion, and sense of community for all attendees
Organising the event has allowed facilitators to find out more about what Casey’s rainbow community – around 5.6 per cent of adults in the area – needs and wants.
“We are here – we just don’t have the social infrastructure to connect, we can’t see ourselves,” she said.
“It’s so important for people to feel that they belong, to see themselves reflected in the community and feel like there is support and social connections they can make locally.”
She said there is potential for further LGBTQIA+ events to be held in the City of Casey as community members and groups connect with each other.
In recent years the City of Casey has taken steps to recognise the local rainbow community; in 2020, the flag was raised for IDAHOBIT, the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia.
Also last year, Ms Petty said, the Casey Rainbow Community marched in the Midsumma Pride March, bringing further attention to local LGBTQIA+ people.
Likewise, a Casey Midsumma is something the community has been asking for – and Ms Petty said organisers are pleased to be able to deliver it.
To keep the event Covid-safe, attendees are asked to book tickets, however Midsumma in Casey is free.
Midsumma in Casey will be held at Selandra Community Hub, 7-9 Selandra Boulevard, Clyde North on Sunday 18 April, 11am – 3pm. Tickets are free. For bookings and more information, visit www.midsumma.org.au