Inclusion Takes Centre Stage At Queens Ball 2024

Inclusion Takes Centre Stage At Queens Ball 2024
Image: Image: Brisbane Pride

Brisbane Pride have celebrated another successful Queens Ball, with the 2024 event held at Brisbane City Hall on June 29.

With the venue overflowing, the crowd celebrated the individuals and organisations that make Queensland’s LGBTQI+ community shine. The night marked the 63rd year of the event, remaining as the longest running LGBTQIA+ event in the world.

This years entertainment also shone a spotlight on inclusion within the community, and celebrated performers with disabilities on the main stage.

2024 Queens Ball Awards a hotly contested year

More than 600 people flocked to Brisbane City Hall to celebrate the achievements of the Brisbane LGBTQIA+ community.

This year’s nominee list included 226 individuals and organisations and there were 4750 votes cast for the awards – making this year the most hotly contested in Queens Ball history.

The Drag Queen Of The Year Award featured a staggering 45 nominations, triggering a fierce amount of campaigning within the community. The winner was Brisbane drag darling Gayleen Tuckwood.

Gayleen’s resident venue The Sportsman Hotel secured Venue Of The Year again, and resident DJ Merlin also took home DJ Of The Year. 

Sportsman Hotel manager Chris White reflected on the venue’s long-time success: “People often come to Sporties and they say nothing has changed. Damn right it hasn’t!” he cheered.

Historic Funding Announced

During the awards ceremony several representatives from the Queensland Labor Party, including The honourable Grace Grace and Leanne Enoch took to the stage for a landmark announcement.

They revealed the Miles Labor government will create and fund the “Pride in our Communities 2024 – 2032,” Queensland’s first comprehensive strategy for LGBTQIA+ inclusivity and support.

The strategy will receive an initial investment of $1.035 million to establish the LGBTQIA+ Alliance for Queensland, including $200k provided to Brisbane Pride for operational funding to support LGBTQIA+ organisations throughout Queensland.

Inclusion takes centre stage

Brisbane Pride President James McCarthy reflected on the continued importance of the awards and the journey ahead for the community.

“Through these stories and countless others, we have shown the world the beauty of living true to oneself,” he said. “But as we honour our past, we must also look to the future. This year, we will face choices as a community, at a time when the journey towards full equality and acceptance is far from done” he said, acknowledging that our community must support and advocate for the transgender and non-binary community.

The entertainment is always a high point of the Queens Ball, with Brisbane’s best and brightest lighting up the main stage.

The evening featured the Drag Runway performance as well as music by Garret Lyon, Samantha Jade, and DJ’s Galleon and Raul.

The main stage performance of ‘Ability’, produced by Activist Of The Year winner Helen Wheels, featured Archie Arsenic, Bella Belle, Big Red Kara, Helen Wheels, Katya Lou-King, Lady Sasscrotch & Lord Sev.

“This groundbreaking showcase, produced by the visionary Helen Wheels for over three years, celebrates performers with disabilities of all kinds. Helen’s mission? To make performance art accessible and welcoming to everyone” he said.

See the Queens Ball 2024 full list of winners:

First Nations Leadership and Engagement Award: Corey March

Young Achievement Award: Callum Cantrill

Activist of the Year: Helen Wheels

Ally of the Year: Tom Oliver

Volunteer of the Year: Imani Anderson

Community Social Group: Dykes on Bikes Queensland

Community Support Group: Free Mum Hugs

Community Sporting Group: Gay Skate Brisbane

Artist of the Year: Dylan Mooney

DJ of the Year: DJ Merlin

Drag Performer of the Year: Gayleen Tuckwood

Performer of the Year: Archie Arsenic

Event of the Year: Bay Pride at Wynnum Fringe

Venue of the Year: The Sportsman Hotel

Proud Award: Justin Rosenberg

Lifetime Achievement Award: Betty Nature

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