Melbourne artist Mama Alto was recently named Artist of the Year at the GLOBE Community Awards, and has called on the community to support LGBTI artists.

The gender transcendent diva, jazz singer, cabaret artiste and community activist said she was honoured to receive the award.

“I was truly touched, thrilled and overwhelmed to receive this accolade—as well as full of gratitude,” she said.

“As a queer, trans, non-binary person of colour, I see this as a piece of hard earned recognition for the excellence, artistry, dedication, and inherent human dignity and equality, of diverse people.

“I believe that brown is beautiful, that femme is fierce. I believe in gender euphoria, not gender dysphoria!”

Mama Alto said she wanted to use her platform to recognise, celebrate and promote the many other queer artists in Australia.

“The arts have an immensely strong power to act as an agent of social change, of inclusion, of healing, of community-building, of speaking back, of resisting, of placing ourselves back into the story when others might try to deny us our place,” she said.

“At times like this, when our communities are under siege, this becomes more important than ever.

“Support the arts and the artists who support our communities—who make us feel, who make us strong, who make us feel understood, who make us feel less alone.”

Mama Alto acknowledged her fellow finalists in the GLOBE nominations, singer-songwriter and radio host Miller Soding, and visual artist Marco Ryan.

She also called on the community to familiarise themselves with other queer Australian artists, from writers to musicians to drag performers.

Some of the artists she named included musicians Brendan Maclean and Mojo Juju, and drag queens Karen From Finance and Lady Diamond.

“Find and support them, treasure and adore them,” she said.

“Continue to add and support even more queer artists. I know I will.”

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