BRISBANE’S 56th annual Queen’s Ball Awards were held on Saturday night, drawing together the LGBTI community to celebrate our culture and the people making an impact in Brisbane.

Falling on the anniversary of the first Sydney Mardi Gras in 1978, it was a huge night of music, drag, and burlesque.

During the Belle of the Ball pageant, Performer of the Year nominee Renon Schafer stormed the stage to criticise the presenters’ repeated use of a transphobic slur.

“Cis people do not get to use the word tranny,” they shouted, to loud applause.

Fifteen community awards were given this year.

Dressed in a purple wedding gown, local drag favourite Gayleen Tuckwood took out both the Young Achievement Award and Belle of the Ball.

Lawyer Peter Black won Activist of the Year, and Brisbane drag star Candy Surprise won both Performer of the Year and Drag Performer of the Year.

Community Support Group of the Year went to Open Doors Youth Service, which successfully crowdfunded to keep its Jellybeans trans youth program running this year and is still seeking funding to keep it going into the future.

Balls Out Bingo, which raises money each week for the Queensland AIDS Council, won Regular Event of the Year, and organiser Jan Thwaites took out Ally of the Year for her work with the Council.

Adult Venue of the Year went to sauna Number 29, and Licensed Venue of the Year went to the Sportsman Hotel.

Roz Dickson of the Australian Transgender Support Association Queensland was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for her activism work.

Proceeds from the ball went to Brisbane Pride and the Kal Collins Memorial Fund, which raises awareness of LGBTI mental health and suicide prevention.

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