Rainbow Champions Revealed Ahead Of Sydney WorldPride 2023

Rainbow Champions Revealed Ahead Of Sydney WorldPride 2023
Image: Photo: supplied.

Sydney WorldPride (SWP) has just unveiled 12 more leaders of the LGBTQI community who will serve as Rainbow Champions ahead of the event in February 2023.

As a way of honouring the 45th anniversary of the first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Sydney WorldPride said it will recognise 45 members of the LGBTQI community and give them the title of Rainbow Champion. The 45 are chosen to be honoured for their contributions to the Australian LGBTQI community.

The first three Rainbow Champions announced were Narelda Jacobs, Whadjuk Noongar journalist, founding member of Campaign Against Moral Persecution (CAMP) Peter de Waal and autistic non-binary transgender educator and advocate, Rudy Jean Rigg.

The 12 New Champions

The newly announced Rainbow Champions are:

  • Lawrence Bing: a trans man and social media star from NSW who has allowed his hundreds of thousands of followers a peek into his transition journey.
  • Caroline Bowditch: a Victorian performance artist and choreographer, who had been recently named the CEO of Arts Access Victoria.
  • Deborah Cheetham AO: leader and trailblazer in the Australian arts landscape, she is a Yorta Yorta woman, soprano, composer and artistic director of Short Black Opera.
  • Kerry Chin: an aromantic, asexual, autistic, and transgender community leader. His work with Australian Asexuals has helped spread awareness of human rights issues that affect asexual people.
  • Jessica Johnson: a Warramungu Wombaya artist, graphic designer and advocate. She is the founder of the design agency, Nungala Creative.
  • Keiynan Lonsdale: an actor, dancer and singer-songwriter who is known for his role in Hollywood films such as Love, Simon and The Divergent Series: Insurgent.
  • Steph Lum: an intersex advocate, researcher and poet who also has a background in government legal policy. Lum is the founder of YOUth&I, a publication that shares writings and artwork created by young intersex individuals.

  • Crystal Love: Australian and Northern Territory royalty, she is a First Nations Elder and mentor to the Sistergirl community of the Tiwi Islands, north of Darwin.
  • Jane Marsden: once a director at Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Jane is a long-standing LGBTQIA+ campaigner who has been a prominent figure in Sydney’s LGBTQIA+ community in her mid to late twenties back in the 1980s.
  • Steven Oliver: a descendant of the Kuku-Yalanji, Waanyi, Gangalidda, Woppaburra, Bundjalung and Biripi peoples, Steven is a beloved actor, comedian, playwright and poet.
  • Katherine Wolfgramme FRSA: a proud transgender woman of colour, Katherine is a nationally recognised trans advocate, award-winning Gender Diversity Consultant and Trans Awareness trainer and educator.
  • William Yang: hailing from Brisbane and moved to Sydney back in 1969, William is an artist and photographer who explores issues of cultural and sexual identity, integrating these with writing, performance and film.

Honouring Their Contributions

Sydney WorldPride Chief Executive, Kate Wickett said she was pleased to honour the diverse Rainbow Champions who have made a lasting impact on the LGBTQI community.

“From actors to operatic stars, to grass-roots activists and influencers, all the Champions we are celebrating today have made a significant contribution to the community and culture,” Wickett said in a statement.

“There is still much more to do to achieve equality for all LGBTQIA+ people, but I am hopeful that by recognising the achievements of these Rainbow Champions, we can build on our collective success and continue [the] momentum for the future.”

More Rainbow Champions will be announced ahead of the Sydney WorldPride 2023.

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