The Australia Day vigil for the victims of homophobic bashings will go ahead at Harmony Park as planned, with Courtney Act set to perform a new song about her own bashing near Oxford St.

“I wrote a song last year after I got mugged. It’s not really a dancefloor track. I’d like to perform it at the vigil,” Act said of the song What About This.

Act, dressed as her alter-ego Shane, was attacked in the back streets of Darlinghurst around midnight on a Sunday last year.

“Vanity was performing as Cher and she’d forgotten bobby pins for her big Turn Back Time hair, so I ran back to the house to get bobby pins for her and two guys jumped me in the back streets,” she said.

“I had a fairly positive experience with the police that night, and I reported it to the Anti-Violence Project as well.”

The Sydney Homotones have also agreed to provide entertainment to the vigil while the City of Sydney has donated 550 whistles to be handed out at the gathering.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore, Cr Shayne Mallard, and ACON president Adrian Lovney will join emcees Oxford St Safety Ambassador Maxi Shield and Steph Sands on stage.

One of the organisers, Brendan Lloyd, called on gay Sydney to stand up and say, “no more violence. A show of gratuitous hand-holding would be appropriate.”

The vigil was nearly derailed over tensions between community members and objections the Reclaim the Right posters weren’t inclusive enough.

Ben Veenkamp withdrew the posters, saying the vigil was to show unity for stopping the violence, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation.

ACON encouraged the community to attend, denying accusations it had pressured for the vigil to be cancelled.

The vigil starts at 4pm, Saturday 26 January at Harmony Park, cnr Brisbane and Goulburn streets, near Surry Hills police station.

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