Women (whether they identify as lesbian, bisexual, transgendered or straight) often complain to me that it’s “just not fair” that they can’t go to The Laird Hotel in Abbotsford because it’s a men only space. Well, listen up, everyone, on Sunday, September 9 from 3pm until late, everyone over 18 can get down to this well loved and respected venue for the second annual Northside Bizarre. And, yes, this includes women too.
Northside Bizzare 2012 is a fundraising event for JOY 94.9 – Australia’s first and only 24/7 gay and lesbian radio station – and for the David Williams Fund. This fund provides both a hand-out and a hand-up to men, women and kids living with HIV. All the proceeds from the day are split 50/50 between both groups. This event has all the fun of the fair, and then some.
When the doors open at 3pm the leather and fetish market will open with quality used gear on sale priced for those folk who are getting into the scene who may want to snap up a bargain – vest, pair of chaps or pants, wrist/ankle restraints, harness, or armbands for example. There will also be stalls of new gear from independent retailers who usually sell online, and other stalls from groups like VicBears. Meanwhile, your favourite presenters from JOY 94.9 will be starting to cook up a selection of BBQ treats.
At 4.30pm, 5.30pm and 6.30pm there will be three auction spots with fantastic donated goods and services from a variety of businesses – cafe vouchers, books, DVDs, cinema tickets, magazine subscriptions and more available to the highest bidder. For more details of the goods on offer click on the Northside Bizarre icon at joy.org.au. Guest celebrity auctioneers include (the fabulous) Adam Richard and Melbourne’s own Dolly Diamond. Prior to each auction block some of Melbourne’s best fetish shops will be doing a showcase fashion parade presentation of some of their fantastic gear.
So, there will be lots of fun and hopefully lots of money raised for two important charities in our community. JOY of course provides a voice for our community. Imagine the bliss if, at 14, there was a voice coming out of the ether letting you know it was OK to be different – that voice is alive now supporting young folk beyond the suburban fringe doing just that.
The David Williams Fund since 1986 has distributed fundraised money to Victorians with HIV living on benefits to help them get by. Come along on September 9 and you too can help make that difference, no matter who you are or how you identify.
By: TEX McKENZIE, Victorian AIDS Council/Gay Men’s Health Centre.