An informal vote to keep the ‘Q’ in the LGBTQI acronym, a suggestion to bring gay rugby’s Bingham Cup to the city, and a concern about what impact the impending lockout laws could have on drug abuse were just some of the issues raised at the LGBTI Community Forum in Brisbane last week, an initiative of the city council’s Inclusive Brisbane Board.

The July 28 event was well attended by elected representatives and prominent members of the community.

“The purpose of this forum is two-fold,” Peter Black, the board’s LGBTI representative, said when opening the forum that intended to offer a direct line of communication to the council.

“The first is to give the community, that is those who are diverse in gender and sexuality, the opportunity to ask questions and raise issues of importance for our community.

“And second, it’s an opportunity for the community to learn both about the council’s and the Inclusive Brisbane Board’s recent activities.”

The members of the board introduced themselves one-by-one and spoke of their unique roles and the progress they had made on making Brisbane more inclusive to date on a number of fronts.

The closer ties between the LGBTI community and the council in recent years were recognised, including a number of symbolic and practical gestures such as lighting up the Story Bridge in LGBTI colours, flying the rainbow flag in solidarity at prominent events, as well as contributing financial support to the Brisbane Pride event.

The representatives of the Inclusive Brisbane Board then took questions from the general public.

Many of these questions were of a deeply personal nature about homelessness, the need for more engagement with people of the intersex persuasion, trans discrimination, and the importance of inter-generational learning.

A member of the Brisbane Hustlers suggested bringing more inclusive events like the Bingham Cup to the city, something that was well received by a lot of people in attendance. He was invited to discuss this with the marketing folks at the council.

The Bingham Cup is an international gay rugby event held every two years, which Australia hosted in 2014 in Sydney.

A man brought up his concerns on the domino effect lock out laws would have on increased drug use.

The issue that brought the most debate from the crowd was about the use of the word ‘queer’ in council communications.

“The current wisdom in council around communications with the LGBTQI community is to drop the Q, because it’s perceived that it could be offensive to some people,” a board representative said, before asking the crowd for their opinion.

Attendees spoke for and against and an informal show of hands was taken that was in favour of keeping the word.

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