Carving up the dance floor or battling it out over a board game are providing a unique way of bringing together and supporting Mitchell Shire’s LGBTQI community members.
Two separate initiatives – the LGBTI Elders Dance Club and Genderbread Gamers – have been established in Mitchell Shire to provide safe and inclusive spaces for LGBTQI community members to connect.
Genderbread Gamers is an informal space for LGBTI community members and their allies to relax, play board games and enjoy discussions with like-minded people.
The group, funded by the MCRAG Community Foundation and supported by Mitchell Shire Council, began last Sunday and will continue every fortnight from 3-6pm at Chittick Park Community Place in Seymour. The next meeting is on Sunday 15 July.
Meanwhile, the free LGBTI Elders Dance Club, which is open to people of all ages but especially designed for older residents, uses dance to bring people together.
Facilitated by All The Queens Men, it begins on Wednesday 4 July at the John Taylor Room in Kilmore from 4.30-6pm. It will run on the first Wednesday of the month until December.
All The Queens Men Director Tristan Meecham said it was a fantastic opportunity to come together, socialise and connect.
“We welcome everyone. This is a safe space where you can be yourself, whether you're coming out for the first time or just wanting to reconnect with the community,” Mr Meecham said.
Mayor Rhonda Sanderson said Mitchell Shire prided itself on being inclusive and supporting the LGBTQI community was one of the priorities of council’s Social Justice Framework.
“We’re really proud of the diverse community we have in Mitchell and we believe that we are better off when all people, regardless of their background or identity, are embrace and supported,” Cr Sanderson said.
“We know the LGBTQI community are overrepresented when it comes to issues such as discrimination and social isolation, so it is vital that organisations like Mitchell Shire Council support initiatives that encourage more inclusive communities and well supported peer support connections.”
For more details on the groups, visit www.facebook.com/genderbreadgamers or www.comingbackoutball.com/lgbti-elders-dance-club.