Brisbane’s Bay Pride Event Targeted Once Again, Organisers To Seek Legal Advice
Wynnum Fringe Festival is seeking legal advice to deal with backlash for their upcoming Bay Pride Event, with misinformation continuing to be spread by anti-LGBTQI community members.
The week starting November 20 marks the second week of the annual arts and entertainment festival on the east coast of Brisbane City, with this week’s theme being ‘Pride’. The celebrations lead up to the Bay Pride event on Sunday, November 26.
With Pride festivities lined up for the day, some community members have made relentless attempts to cancel and disrupt the family event, making anti-LGBTQI remarks towards organisers.
Counterfeit Leaflets Being Sent Around
Wynnum Fringe Founder and Director Tom Oliver posted a video to Facebook, saying, “We need to stick to the facts.”
Oliver states the three weekly themes for the festival are Place, Pride, and Power. Whilst other events have been left unscathed, Pride week has been receiving consistent attempts by a “small minority group.”
Members within the community have specifically targeted the “family-friendly walk” as part of Bay Pride festivities. Previously, two letters had been circulating the community targeting the event.
Now, a third letter is been sent around in mailboxes, with “defamatory” and “misinformed” material against the event.
The leaflets include the Bay Pride’s advertising design, including the sponsors and performers on the cover. Made to pass off as material from the organisers, the poster includes false and hyper-sexualised imagery and text, alluding to pedophilia.
Oliver clarifies the leaflets are not associated with the company or any sponsors, and are “currently seeking legal advice” on the matter.
‘We will not stand down to bullying’
Oliver continued, “I’d also strongly encourage anyone watching this video who is available in southeast Queensland and beyond to come down to Wynnum Fringe, especially on Sunday the 26th of November.”
“Support these incredible artists who put their lives and stories on the line every time they perform in front of people, it’s such a vulnerable thing.”
“We will not stand down to bullying, and this is not okay,” Oliver concluded.
Event To Proceed With Community Support
Oliver requests community support to find the perpetrators behind the activity, requesting any potential security footage of the people placing the leaflets into letterboxes.
Speaking with ABC Radio, Oliver said any footage will be passed over to the police.
Oliver confirmed that sponsors, including Brisbane City Council and local MP members, have continued to support the event and that it will persevere this weekend.
“I’m thankful that [sponsors] haven’t listened to these threats and they’re still with us,” Oliver continued.
Labor MP Joan Pease posted to Instagram, clarifying her lack of involvement with the leaflets, and her sustaining her support of the event.
“Let us stand together – spread love not hate,” posted Pease.
View this post on Instagram
‘We aren’t going anywhere!’
One of the headlining performers, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under star Gabriella Labucci, spoke with Star Observer on the situation and the significance of the Pride celebration.
“I’ve seen the misinformation that’s been spread and it’s just awful,” said Labucci.
“I don’t understand why people feel the need to spread hate. If for whatever reason someone doesn’t like the Queer community then they should just avoid the events altogether.
“Don’t like it? Don’t come! It’s as simple as that!”
Following the recent leaflets being circulated with performers on the cover, Labbucci said, “I don’t appreciate my image being used for the crap that’s being sent out.
“It’s laughable really. It’s so stupid that they think they’re really achieving something by this flyer being created.”
Hailing from Ballarat, Labucci says that providing more “accessible” Pride events to the regional areas is essential for supporting and reaffirming Queer communities.
“I wish I had regional Pride events accessible to me when I was younger so I felt more accepted and less confused about who I was. Being around people that are just like you is so validating,” Labbucci explained.
Reaffirming their performance and the festival, they declared, “We aren’t going anywhere!”
“We will continue to hold Pride events because they save lives. They are essential to our community so they know they aren’t alone and have a place in the world.”
Wynnum Fringe Festival’s Bay Pride will be held at the Wynnam Fringe Garden this Sunday, November 26.