PrideFest to make a difference

Published 2:01pm 8 February 2023

PrideFest to make a difference
Words by Kylie Knight

Moreton Bay PrideFest will be a celebration of the LGBTIQAP+ community but also an important show of support which will make a big difference to the lives of young people, according to Headspace.

The event, to be held on Saturday, June 10, will coincide with World Pride Month and celebrate the region’s growing LGBTIQAP+ community.

Moreton Bay local Courtney Act will headline the entertainment, which includes Sneaky Sound System, Thelma Plum, DJ Havana Brown and DJ Harry K, and the Fluffy Superstars.

Headspace, which provides mental health services to people aged 12-25 years, sees large numbers of young people from the LGBTIQAP+ community.

General Manager Jamie Thompson explains: “The group makes up more than 30 per cent of the young people who come to our services and it’s really important for us to be in the community supporting such a large group of people.

“It’s something that helps people feel included in the community and that it’s safe to be who they are. I think for a lot of LGBTI people, that’s a very hard thing to get past. Having somewhere they can feel comfortable and safe is a huge step forward.”

Moreton Bay PrideFest will donate $5 from every ticket sold to Headspace to deliver its LGBTIQAP+ programs from its branches at Redcliffe, Strathpine and Caboolture.

Jamie says the money raised will enable the organisation to boost training for its team and expand services.

“We’re also going to look at the ability to do work within schools as well where we can find schools who would like that support onsite because we know that’s an area where young people will first potentially come out and need support. We’re very excited about the opportunities that’s going to give us,” he says.

PrideFest to make a difference

What can people do if they need support?

“Reach out to services that are out there. If you’re a young person, Headspace. If you’re 12-25 years old, call us, jump on the website … Lifeline, Kids Helpline … there’s lots of services out there and there’s always someone there to listen,” Jamie says.

The need for mental health support is higher than ever at present.

“It’s overwhelming. We have huge need not just for LGBTI young people but young people in general and we’ve absolutely seen that grow during COVID and it means lots of challenges for us but it’s also in a sense a good thing because it means young people are willing to reach out,” Jamie says.

“We know we’ve seen reductions in stigma around mental health and seeking support, and that’s a good thing. It’s then up to us to look at how we can try to support as many people as possible.”

Headspace provides specific services for young people from the LGBTIQAP+ community.

“Our centres currently offer specific LGBTI young person support groups. We’ve had those for many years, working alongside our LGBTI-specific organisations as well,” Jamie explains.

“We’ve been spending a lot of time making sure our staff are well-trained, that we respect the way our young person may want to be spoken to with pronouns and names and making sure that they feel safe.”

PrideFest to make a difference

Timely celebration

Acting Mayor Jodie Shipway says it’s important the region comes together to celebrate diversity.

“One of the most important things for us was when we found out that $5 from every ticket was going to Headspace. I only learnt recently that one in three of the people who reach out in Moreton Bay identify from the LGBTI community,” she says.

“That for me was really important. I’m a mum, I want to make sure my kids are happy to be themselves, whatever that is.”

Moreton Bay Region Industry & Tourism Founder and CEO Shane Newcombe says PrideFest will highlight support services and networks available to the LGBTIQAP+ community.

Moreton Bay PrideFest has a vision to make the region a happier, healthier, safer and more culturally rich and diverse place for the LGBTQIA+ community,” Mr Newcombe says.

“The event will empower current and future generations to be their true selves and feel accepted and proud of who they are, regardless of their gender identify or sexuality.”

Moreton Bay PrideFest is organised by Moreton Bay Region Industry & Tourism (MBRIT) on behalf of Moreton Bay Regional Council.

To find out more about the event, which will also be a massive celebration of the LGBTIQAP+ community, head to the website. Tickets are on sale now.

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