Rainbow Community Angels Defend and Protect at Drag Storytime Event Amidst Challenges

Rainbow Community Angels Protecting Eltham Library (May 17 2023)

May 17 holds great significance for the global LGBT+ community as it marks the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT). However, in Victoria, the commemoration of this day was marred by the cancellation of several family-friendly queer events due to threats and safety concerns.

On the 30th anniversary of IDAHOBIT, faith communities stand together, calling for equity in the church and all aspects of life. Despite challenges and divisions, we see them as opportunities for progress and growth. True unity in the Body of Christ will only be achieved when every individual is welcomed and affirmed. Our commitment is to create a future where all bodies are embraced and valued.

Amidst these challenges, Shane from Universal Church, a founding member of the Rainbow Community Angels (a new LGBTQI community-led safety project), demonstrated support by attending the Drag Storytime event at Eltham Library in Victoria. The presence of the angels symbolized protection and solidarity in the face of disruptions, underscoring the crucial need for a safe space for everyone, with an emphasis on understanding and compassion.

The participation of the Rainbow Community Angels showcased their commitment to promoting inclusivity and safeguarding the rights of the LGBT+ community.  The group's actions serve as a testament to the power of peaceful dialogue and unity, reminding us that by bridging divides through open communication, we can create a society that values and protects the rights and well-being of every individual, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. This message resonates not only in Victoria but throughout the state, including the city of Gold Coast, where similar events are held.

Drag Queen Storytime, conceptualized by American author and mother Michelle Tea, aims to address limited perspectives observed in inclusive events by embracing drag queens and celebrating diversity. According to Professor John Casey from Wagner College in New York City, drag queens strive to live authentically, spread joy, and promote acceptance and unconditional love. It's important to recognize the historical presence of drag performers, historically known as 'panto dames,' in theater and television, despite far-right extremists insisting they should be confined to adult-oriented entertainment. Similar to actors, drag queens have the ability to tailor their performances to diverse audiences, just as actors transition between R-rated films and those suitable for children.

Regrettably, far-right extremists have recently exploited anti-drag campaigns to hinder progress on LGBT+ rights. Faced with defeat in the marriage equality debate in various Western democracies, they resorted to unsubstantiated claims, suggesting that legalizing same-sex marriage would lead to increasingly radical reforms. When these predictions proved false, they turned to fabrications and fearmongering, falsely asserting that drag queens pose a threat to children. By spreading counterfeit imagery of drag queens engaged in highly sexualized situations or provocative attire, these extremists sow doubt in the public's minds. However, it's crucial to distinguish between factual accuracy and fictional narratives and recognize the lack of substantial evidence supporting their sensationalistic claims. Ignorance is the true enemy in this context, and it's important to remain resolute and unwavering, refusing to let anyone diminish our brightness.

Recent efforts by our ministry were made to engage with HOTA and the City of Gold Coast to fly the LGBT+ Flag or demonstrate unity with the Gold Coast LGBT+ community. Unfortunately, HOTA responded they did not have the resources, while there was no response from the City of Gold Coast or Spiritual Advisor Sue Baynes.

On IDAHOBIT, Brisbane's Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner raised the Progress Pride Flag at Brisbane City Hall, highlighting the significance of the day. The flag-raising ceremony included members of the Council's River City Pride group and leaders from local organizations, demonstrating a collective commitment to the ongoing fight for LGBT+ equality worldwide.

Let us offer our prayers and hopes for the city of the Gold Coast, envisioning a future of inclusivity and acceptance. It is our aspiration that diversity is celebrated and homophobia finds no place in this community. May understanding, respect, and empathy flourish, allowing every individual, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, to live authentically and without fear of discrimination.

Together, let us paint a vision where love, acceptance, and equality prevail, transforming the Gold Coast into a beacon of inclusivity for all. By standing united, we can create a society where everyone is embraced for who they are, breaking down barriers and fostering a sense of belonging. The journey towards a more inclusive Gold Coast starts with each of us, championing the rights and well-being of the LGBTQ+ community.

As we reflect on the challenges faced on IDAHOBIT and the canceled events in Victoria, it becomes evident that the struggle for equality continues. However, the resilience and determination shown by the Rainbow Community Angels inspire us to persevere.

In the face of adversity, let us draw strength from their example and work to overcome the obstacles that hinder progress. By amplifying voices, challenging prejudices, and fostering understanding, we can build a society that embraces diversity, celebrates individuality, and champions the rights of every member, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

The journey towards an inclusive Gold Coast begins now, and it requires the collective efforts of community leaders, organizations, and individuals who believe in the power of love, acceptance, and equality. Together, we can create a future where everyone can live authentically, free from discrimination and prejudice.

Let us join hands and continue to raise awareness, educate others, and advocate for the rights of the LGBT+ community. By doing so, we pave the way for a more inclusive and accepting Gold Coast, where diversity is celebrated and where everyone can thrive and be proud of who they are.

Rainbow Community Angels Defend and Protect at Drag Storytime Event Amidst Challenges Rainbow Community Angels Defend and Protect at Drag Storytime Event Amidst Challenges Reviewed by Shane St Reynolds on May 18, 2023 Rating: 5

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