Premier Daniel Andrews will open the annual Midsumma celebration of the LGBTI community, which begins today at the Alexandra Gardens.
The festival brings together a wide range of artists and performers to showcase and celebrate queer arts and culture.
Over 150,000 people are expected to participate over the three weeks of the festival, which runs until 8 February.
This year’s theme is Making Connections. Events and activities will include cabaret, music, comedy, theatre, film screenings, circus, forums, exhibitions, parties and sporting events.
The program also features the 20th anniversary Pride March, which will take place in St Kilda on Sunday, 1 February.
Internationally, Melbourne’s Midsumma is viewed as one of the top five gay and lesbian arts and cultural festivals, along with events in New York, San Francisco, Vancouver and Singapore.
The Andrews Labor Government is putting equality back on the agenda, reviewing all state legislation to identify provisions that unfairly discriminate against LGBTI Victorians.
The Government will appoint a Gender and Sexuality Discrimination Commissioner to the Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, legalise same-sex adoption, and remove barriers to new birth certificates for trans, gender-diverse and intersex Victorians.
The Government will also make a formal state apology for the unjust, prejudiced laws against homosexual acts before decriminalisation in 1981.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“The festival program reflects the diversity and creativity of both the LGBTI community and Victoria’s arts scene.”
“The Labor Government has put equality back on the agenda.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Equality and Creative Industries, Martin Foley
“Midsumma brings people together and contributes to Melbourne’s reputation as Australia’s leading centre for arts and creative industries.”
“I’m honoured to serve as Victoria’s first Minister for Equality and proud that the Government has created a dedicated Cabinet role for LGBTI issues.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020