Each month we’ll champion two amazing drag queens, DJs, or community heroes in the gay scene. This week: Esther LaRovere, Broken Heel Festival director.

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What do you love about Australia’s LGBTI community?

They know how to have fun! I also appreciate the community’s ability to connect, its passion, and its ability to maintain a dialogue about relevant issues.

What motivates you to get involved?

Equality is a big motivation. I have a general love of getting people together for good times – and it’s usually during these times that you remember humans can be amazing, and there are no barriers.

What area do we need to focus on the most at the moment?

Being truly present in where we are and what we are doing – I think this applies to all of us.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I live and work in the colourful The Palace Hotel, so most days I am troubleshooting the 24/7 world of hotel hospitality while being a mum to my four-year-old Phoenix. In between I get to meet all of the colourful characters from around the globe, who are attracted to this iconic building.

Who do you see as an LGBTI hero in the community?

All of my creative friends who are out there doing their thing. Working alongside drag artist Philmah Bocks over the last four years on the festival, I am in awe at the dedication to her art and the honesty, respect, and nurturing role I have seen her give to her community with a real aim to create some super fabulous and spectacular moments for everyone.

Favourite LGBTI venue?

The Palace Hotel in Broken Hill of course, especially during the Broken Heel Festival. But when I’m in Sydney, I do love the Imperial (it’s like our city sister).

Favourite LGBTI anthem?

Hmm, I might have to go with ‘Go West’.

Best Pride moment?

We took our first Broken Heel Festival float to Mardi Gras this year, and what an electric atmosphere! I might also mention the moment (with a bunch of the festival queens and kings) out on the floating stage during the Australia Day celebrations at Circular Quay, when all of the fireworks went off – that was a close range visual spectacle.

Advice for young LGBTI people?

I think it’s the same for everyone: be true to yourself, know your community is out there, and respect all living things.

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