GLAAD moves from Melbourne to Sydney, focused on the intersection of media and the LGBTIQ movement

GLAAD’s work with the Australian LGBTIQ community continues, moving from Melbourne to Sydney. 

The time in Melbourne concluded with a panel event hosted by The Channel, a giving circle that is focused on funding projects that benefit the LGBTIQ community. After hearing a provocation by Fury, a writer, a feminist and an agitator, Ross joined Sally Goldner of the Bisexual Alliance Victoria and Transgender Victoria, and Adolfo Aranjuez, the Editor of Metro, Australia’s oldest film and media periodical, in a wide-ranging conversation about the diverse needs within the broader LGBTIQ community, media representation, identities and labels, and the need for LGBTIQ-created art. The panel was moderated by Jacob Thomas a 27-year-old, genderqueer person who, in 2016, was one of only two Australians to receive the Queen’s Young Leaders Award. 

GLAAD then moved on to Sydney to speak with producers, filmmakers, and representatives from the media industry.

Ray attended the Mardi Gras Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and introduced the film Shelter. Shelter earned the GLAAD Media Award in 2009, tying with Noah's Arc: Jumping the Broom. Ray commented that the film withstands the test of time, and viewing it 8 years later brings up issues that are relevant to the LGBTIQ community today.

Meanwhile, Ross met with Anthony Venn-Brown, a prominent advocate for LGBTIQ people of faith. A former preacher at several large evangelical and Pentecostal churches in Australia, including the Hillsong church in Sydney, Anthony has been campaigning against so-called “reparative therapy.” His book, A Life of Unlearning, is now in its third edition.

GLAAD also presented to the LGBTIQ health-related organizations, QLife, the Australian Federation of AIDS Organizations, and the National LGBTI Health Alliance. We heard about the life-saving work each organization is doing, providing direct services to the LGBTIQ population, as well as advocating for decreased stigma for HIV and mental health issues. GLAAD then presented its work, talking about how we collaborate with other organizations, and providing messaging best practices so the media will report on challenges and triumphs of LGBTIQ heath.

After an industry meeting with the Screen Producers Association, GLAAD spent an evening with queer women media content creators. Included in the informal reception were the creators of the web series “Starting From Now” and the film “All About E,” which is available on Netflix. The conversation focused on the underrepresentation of women and LGBTIQ people in Australian Media.

GLAAD’s tour of Australia is through the Global Voices and Entertainment programs, focusing on providing support and best practices for LGBTIQ people and organizations across the globe. GLAAD will continue with more public events and industry forums to discuss our monitoring and reporting, as well as hear what’s next for the Australian LGBTIQ media landscape.