BRISBANE is preparing for the next instalment of the annual International Lesbian Day conference, which highlights key health and wellbeing issues faced by same-sex attracted women in Queensland.

One of the most popular events on the city’s LGBTI calendar, the day run by the Lesbian Health Action Group is open to everyone within the community, and organisers hope it can spark discussion about issues affecting them.

“It is important to us that we are promoting this as an all-inclusive event – so we don’t just want people who identify as lesbian to come along,” International Lesbian Day organiser and national MindOut coordinator Sally Morris told the Star Observer.

“We encourage all women who are same-sex attracted to also attend regardless of their labels or identities, including bisexual, queer, pansexual and transgender women.

“As a volunteer-unfunded group, we raise funds from this event that help us create initiatives for same-sex attracted women in Queensland.”

The event is a space for a lot more than just serious topics and discussion. It also aims to showcase the best Brisbane female cultural and artistic talent.

“We have made a few adjustments to the layout this year and will still be having two stages that are featuring a lot of local talent,” Morris said.

“We have increased the number of activity spaces to three, which are full of different interactive activities for people to participate in.”

The day will also feature a special performance by Melbourne singer Aimee Francis, and several local cabaret and burlesque acts.

“[The performers] are also members of the queer community, many of which have been trained Lady Marlene’s School of Arts,” Morris said.

“We are particularly proud to have Roz Dickson performing who was featured in our ‘I AM…’ calendar as a proud trans* woman who has really found her place in the burlesque world.”

The needs and interests of a growing number of LGBTI families will also be catered for with specific events and facilities.

Morris said that the day’s continued success is vital in order to celebrate all aspects of the LGBTI community.

“We are hoping that we can come together as a whole community and celebrate those who don’t often get recognised in a community that has so many male focused events,” she said.

“Women of all identities in the LGBTI community are valuable and important and deserve to have a space where they can connect to their community in a positive way that aren’t only focused on alcohol or unrealistic body images.

“As our goals are about promoting the health and wellbeing of the women community, we also hope to show people that there are a range of things that you can do to enjoy yourself in our diverse and wonderful community.”

The International Lesbian Day conference is on this Sunday, October 5 from 12noon to 5PM at Riverside Receptions, 50 Oxlade Dr, New Farm. More information can be found here.

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