When you think of the western suburbs, what do you think of? Newtown? Annandale? This may be right. However, the western suburbs to me are a little bit further. I’m thinking Liverpool, Penrith, Richmond and the Blue Mountains.
I know what some of you are thinking when you read that: I don’t go that far for holidays. While these places may seem far away, they’re not as far as you’d think. Either by public transport or car you are looking at about 45 minutes. Just follow the yellow train line from Central Station.
For many years there’s been a big stigma attached to the western suburbs, and people have the feeling that they’re the only gay in the village. But times are changing. Things are happening and there are more events, activities and organisations for the GLBT community in western Sydney than ever before. There are social groups for queer young people that lots of youth services are providing. Many of the local women’s health centres are running groups for lesbians. There are a growing number of community-organised social events for not so young people. And in different locations in the region there are even club nights that happen on a weekly to monthly basis being run out of supportive licensed venues.
Coming up this weekend is the Parramatta PRIDE Picnic. The event is the result of the hard work of the Parramatta Queer Forum, a group supported by the Parramatta City Council made up of organisations and services that work with the GLBT community in the area. It’s on this Sunday 16 September from 11am to 2pm, and is going to be a great day out for all the community. Get your friends together, make a picnic lunch and come and enjoy a day of sunshine in Parramatta Park. For more information contact Jane Lowe on 9806 5116.
If you’re wanting any information about groups, services, organisations or community events taking place in western Sydney, you can contact Matt Vaughan at ACON on 9206 2000.
Matt Vaughan is the Community Development and Liaison Officer for the ACON Western Sydney Community Development Team.
Email: [email protected]