Queer artists performers are set to open up about LGBTI mental health as part of the MAD Pride concert during this year’s Mardi Gras.

The Movement Against Discrimination (MAD) Pride concert will showcase a range of performers looking to highlight the over-representation of LGBTI people in suicide and self-harm statistics.

Numerous studies show that LGBTI people are far more likely to experience mental health issues than the general population.

This disproportionate representation in mental health statistics is compounded at the intersections of further marginalised communities, including LGBTI Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and LGBTI people living with a disability.

The MAD Pride concert will feature queer performers who identify as having lived experiences of mental health issues and/or mental illness.

“We know as a community that mental health is an issue, but how can we challenge the narrative?” said organiser and performer Asha Zappa.

“Mad Pride is a space for us to tell our own stories, to show how incredible we are, not in spite of our madness, but because of it.

“Mad Pride is a space where we truly can be proud of our madness, and to hopefully challenge some people’s preconceived ideas as well.”

Mad Pride is movement born of mental health consumer campaigning, with concerts organised by consumers around Australia.

The movement challenges stigma around mental health and the prejudice that can come with it within the LGBTI community, with concerts also allowing for a celebratory spirit.

“It’s important our voices are heard – too many discussions are had about us without having an understanding of our experience,” Zappa said.

“And so many of the broader social decisions about LGBTIQA+ people has a negative impact on mental health for all of us – regardless of whether we have a diagnosed mental illness or not.

“The marriage equality ‘debate’ had a huge, negative impact on the mental health of our community, but we had to scream to be heard. Mad Pride gives us a chance to be heard, understood, and celebrated.”

The MAD Pride concert will feature live music, burlesque, spoken word, and even a mini-musical. Performers already announced include stage powerhouses like Annaliese Constable and Miss First Nations 2018 finalist MadB, hosted by the Fabulous Falstaffian Sisters.

The MAD Pride concert will take place on February 28 at 6.30pm at the Red Rattler Theatre in Marrickville.

For more information and to purchase tickets, head to the MAD Pride Facebook event page or Eventbrite listing.

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