SGLMG sets up Trans* Intersex working group
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has established a Trans* & Intersex Working Group to advance the interests of Trans, Intersex and Queer (TIQ) people through increased visibility and greater inclusion in the Festival.
Mardi Gras Co Convenor Paul Savage says SGLMG is committed to improving TIQ inclusion in all aspects of the Festival and the working group has been established to better understand the experience of the gender diverse community
“Since speaking at the launch of the Carmen Rupe Memorial Trust during the 2013 Festival, I’ve learned quite a lot about the historical marginalisation of TIQ people within our broader community,” said Savage.
“Those insights have helped Co Convenor Siri Kommedahl, the Mardi Gras Board and myself develop a much better understanding of this history and through that, a deeper commitment to ensuring Mardi Gras provides greater opportunity for TIQ participation moving forward."
Kelly Glanney, who instigated and assisted in the launch of Carmen Rupe Memorial Trust during the 2013 Festival and now chairs the Trans* Intersex working group believes the Maerdi Gras festival provides a valuable platform for all member of the community to tell their stories.
“The Working Groups' goal is to see ever larger numbers of TIQ people accessing that platform, participating on all levels , each bringing their own individual lustre to the incredible Kaleidoscope of human passion, colour and creativity we've come to call Mardi Gras,” said Glanney.
The TIQ Working Group has hit the ground running, initiating a number of projects in time for the 2014 Festival. They are currently implementing TIQ Diversity training for Mardi Gras Volunteers and Medical Staff and working with Mardi Gras' creative team to produce a float that will make a clear statement about the importance of TIQ inclusion in this year’s parade.
Glanney explained: “TIQ people have long been the outsiders in this community, in part because we've allowed ourselves to be invisible. It's time we did more to change that – it's time we all got more proactive in ensuring the TIQ plays an ever more prominent part in the most amazing LGBTIQ Festival on earth."
Glanney said as with any relationship reciprocity is needed. “We’ve found that the more you give to Mardi Gras, the more you get back. That ownership and creative control comes through active participation – that rather than simply criticising and refusing to participate as some of us have historically chosen to do, the best way to effect change is to get involved.
“That's why we'd love to see more Trans, Intersex, Queer and other gender diverse people getting involved in Mardi Gras on all levels – as volunteers, members, content producers and consumers of the amazing array of experiences on offer during the Festival. Because that's how we make Mardi Gras more relevant for TQI people – by more of us getting involved and making it more relevant. We firmly believe that 2014 is finally our time to shine and we're inviting our community to join us.”
The Mardi Gras Trans* Intersex working group have set up a group on Facebook where you can have your say, contribute ideas and find out more about opportunities to get involved in the TIQ float and other aspects of the 2014 Festival.
On Sunday January 19, the Working Group will host a Mardi Gras Engagement Day BBQ and briefing session between 11am and 3pm at a CRMT HQ, 320 Riley Street Surry Hills to further that discussion and allow interested parties to sign up for the TIQ float, various events and other opportunities for participating in the 2014 Sydney Mardi Gras Festival.