Runs Deep: Indigenous Ties to Pride

Runs Deep: Indigenous Ties to Pride
Image: Indigenous performer and Queer artist 2Joocee. Supplied.

Over the past few years, ties between the Indigenous and Queer communities have been growing deeper. 

Both are groups of people who have very obviously suffered at the hands of the broader Australian public throughout history. From forced separation of families, de facto government segregation into certain neighbourhoods and regions and public humiliation and brutality from police forces, there are many issues that First Nations and Queer Australians can relate to one another. However, it is not all suffering and pain that has united us. 

Standing in Solidarity

This year, First Nation’s Australians’ legal position in this country was left in the hands of Australian voters with the recent Referendum, much like the same-sex marriage plebiscite. Whilst sadly the results of both votes ended differently thanks to the ‘No’ vote prevailing, the overwhelming support from Queer voters in not only Victoria but Australia as a whole hinted towards a connection that is only growing deeper. 

Unfortunately, whilst large amounts of Indigenous history have been lost, we know that Queerness and non-heteronormative beliefs did exist. One demonstration of this are Mimi spirits, which depending on what community you are referring to, are genderless spirits. However, Queerness is something that is becoming increasingly a feature within First Nations communities and arts. The upcoming Pride Season in Victoria is one example of this, with the mixing of Indigenous and Queer identities and culture on full display. One example of this is Sounds Gay, I’m In! picnic being held by the Sunbury Aboriginal Corporation, a day out for the family that looks to celebrate and recognise Queer members of the many First Nations communities across Victoria. 

‘First Nations excellence exploding through this Pride Season’

A name that you will have likely seen a few times throughout this festival guide, and if you’re at all familiar with the Melbourne Arts scene, is 2Joocee. Winner of the Victorian NAIDOC Pride Award and a person of many talents, 2Joocee is just one example of First Nations excellence exploding through this Pride Season. 

The growing connections between Indigenous and Queer Australians is truly something to be celebrated. What started as a sense of shared, often painful, history has grown into something more. Midsumma Festival and the myriad of other pride events happening across the state of Victoria are at the beating heart of this union. So, we implore you this Pride Season to get out there and help celebrate and recognise the countless incredible Queer-Indigenous Australians and help nurture these ever-growing ties. 

To see events this Pride Season involving First Nations Australians, check out our Melbourne Pride Guide for 2024!

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