Summer in Melbourne just wouldn’t be summer without Midsumma, the gay, lesbian, bi, trans and intersex festival. It’s three weeks of arts, partying and celebration of all things queer, and 2013 is the 25th anniversary, which is even more reason to get together for a gay old time. So here are some Midsumma events you won’t want to miss:
It all kicks off with Carnival and T Dance on Sunday, January 13, and what better way to get in the Midsumma mood? The gays take over Birrarung Marr, the parkland behind Federation Square for the whole day. There’ll be stalls, drag shows, the famous and favourite dog show, spot performances, previews of upcoming shows and events, sand lots and lots of eye candy – of all varieties. And as dusk settles, dance your way into the evening at T Dance.
A stalwart of Midsumma, DT’s Golden Stiletto Rally on Saturday, January 26, is always a colourful event. Teams – many dressed up… or down – take over the streets of Richmond hunting for clues, completing crazy challenges and bribing judges all over the place. It’s a lot of fun to watch – but much more fun to participate in. especially if you’re sporting a sexy or silly costume.
If you prefer your partying on the sexier side, then the Peel’s Foam-a-Sexual or the Manhunt Pool Party at Wet on Wellington are right up your alley, so to speak. Strip down to your Speedos or trunks at both events and lose yourself (literally) on the foam-filled dance floor at the Peel on Sunday, January 20, or splash around in the pool at Wet on Wellington on Saturday, February 2, along with the DJs, swimwear parades and a wet jocks competition.
There are also a few performances worth noting as well. Kevin McGreal presents Cock at La Mama, January 17-27, a collection of short plays, song and dance performances that explore the complexities and possibilities of being a gay man in 2013. The wordplay is deliberate and it’s more about cockfighting than sex. But then again…
Confessions of a Drag Queen at Chapel Off Chapel on Thursday, January 24 strips away the make-up, wigs and frocks to reveal a young Brazilian boy discovering his true self in Australia. If you need more cabaret drag, head to Red Bennies, where Dolly Diamond presents Welcome to my Lady Garden on January 25-26. With fresh material from her recent trip back to the UK, Dolly is always entertaining, and will have her garden shears ready to cut a few tall poppies down to size.
For some real gender-bending theatre, check out Psycho Beach Party (pictured), a live stage version of the cult classic queer film at Theatre Works from January 11-19. It’s a 1960s surfie/horror film mash-up, with a liberal dose of camp. How can you go wrong? And over at the GH Hotel on February 1-2, Melbourne comedians Nath Valvo, Joel Creasey and Thomas Jaspers present Twunks, a reflection on the passing of their ‘Twinkie’ years, as they head into their mid-twenties.
Finish Midsumma on a high with the closing event, Pride March, on Sunday, February 3. Join in with the many community groups and organisations as they march down Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, proudly showing their true colours and diversity, followed by the post-parade celebrations in the Catani Gardens. Then – and only then – are you allowed to relax. And that’s an order.