Celebrations kick off for Pride Week

By David Kavanagh | posted on November 28, 2019

ALBANY will celebrate its thriving LGBTIQA+ community when Pride Week 2019 officially kicks off tomorrow afternoon.

The much-anticipated jamboree is expected to be bigger than ever, with more than 1000 people set to turn out for a slew of varied and colourful events lasting until December 7.

Coordinator Annie Arnold said the event, now in its fourth year, would have a little something for everyone.

“Albany Pride has grown significantly since 2016. We’ve now got more than double the events that we had even last year,” she said.

“We really want the whole community to come out and show their support and celebration of us, because we’re here and we’re not going anywhere.”

The jam-packed week will feature the ever-popular Fair Day and dog show in the Town Square, a drag bingo hosted at the Stirling Club and an adults-only Drag Show at Studio 146 headlined by four drag queens and a drag king.

It will also include a games night, screening of the film Love, Simon at Albany Library, make-up sessions, a Playback Theatre where audiences can share their own stories and much more.

The group behind the mix of festivities, also called Albany Pride, has been running since 2011.

Ms Arnold said at that time she was approached by headspace Manager Andrew Wenzel who said one in five young people attending the mental health service did not identify as straight.

“That figure is now one in four,” she said.

“We’re still a community that has poorer mental health than the straight community so it’s really important we’re visible through events like this.”

According to the National LGBTI Health Alliance, LGBT people are twice more likely than the general population to be diagnosed and treated for mental health disorders.

Its research suggests issues such as depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicide are especially prevalent for young LGBT people in regional areas and that these are directly related to experiences of stigma, prejudice, discrimination and abuse.

Pride Week will get underway with a free Opening Night at Liberte at 5pm tomorrow.

For a full list of events and times, visit www.albanypride.com.au