Each month we’ll champion two amazing drag queens, DJs, or community heroes in the gay scene. This week: Jain Moralee, Co-Executive Director of queer youth charity Twenty10.

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What do you love about Australia’s LGBTI community?

I love that creativity is woven deeply through our communities – from music, design, fashion, protest, art, and food, to the way we form families and communities – and a lot of this creativity comes from Australia being such a culturally diverse place.

I love that we have never stopped protesting and coming together on issues that affect not only our community but our culture and city.

What motivates you to work with young people?

The work we do at Twenty10 aims to remove the barriers these young people face so they have the opportunity to live their best life. Our vision as an organisation is to work towards a world where people of all genders, sexualities, and intersex variations are equal, affirmed, secure, and connected.

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

In terms of LGBTIQA+ rights, some of the areas of advocacy we are focusing on at Twenty10 include supporting young intersex or people born with variations in sex characteristics, their families and carers, and we encourage everyone to consider a submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission project currently open.

What does a typical day look like for you?

My work days at Twenty10 are very full, and can be unpredictable. I spend loads of time at my desk working across a range of projects, which at the moment includes preparing to launch our new LGBTIQA+ inclusivity training package, PRISM, and our three year Strategic Plan developed with Co-ED Terence Humphreys.

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

For me heroes are anyone that has the courage to live their authentic life, move through the world with kindness and compassion, and volunteer their time and energy to support or centre those whose voices may need extra space to be heard. I pay my deepest respects to our LGBTIQA+ and first nations elders and activists.

Favourite LGBTI venue?

In Sydney, I love the Bearded Tit and the Red Rattler, both created and run by members of our communities.

Favourite LGBTI anthem?

If I had to choose mega classics, “I Feel Love” by Donna Summer, “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” by Sylvester, and “Go Bang!” by Dinosaur L.

Best Pride moment?

Marching with the staff and young people of Twenty10 in the 40th anniversary of the march (now the Mardi Gras parade) and seeing the ‘78ers along the route was very moving. Getting a selfie with Pauline Pantsdown in the holding area was also a personal highlight.

Advice for young LGBTI people?

Seek support as soon as you need it, or even before things feel tough. There are free support services all over Australia including Twenty10 and QLife, who offer safer spaces to be you, so don’t be afraid to get in touch.

Also, be as queer as you want to be, and know there are an infinite number of ways of being LGBTIQA+. It is not a cookie cutter or acronym bound experience.

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