Over 400 people attended Carlton Baths' Queer Soiree in February 2020, a celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community with live performances, stalls and support services.

Queer Soiree

Carlton Baths is more than just your regular recreation centre. It’s a place where equality and inclusion is at the forefront of everything they do – making it a true community hub for all inner north residents. To celebrate their community, Carlton Baths hosted their second sold-out Queer Soiree event as a part of Midsumma Festival in February 2020.

Over 400 people attended the inclusive event, which featured live performances from LGBTQIA+ artists, stalls from sport clubs and support services, and a special exhibition basketball game hosted by Bushrangers Basketball – Australia’s largest LGBTIQA+ basketball club. The basketball game showcased Carlton Baths’ new mixed basketball rules that promote inclusion for gender diverse players.

The atmosphere, the feeling of safety and inclusion is never an accident. It takes incredibly hard work, good governance and a determination to get it right… Alex and the Y have demonstrated that from day one, and we are very proud to call Carlton Baths home. Inclusion is more than a rainbow banner.” Stella Lesic, Founder of the Bushrangers (Australia’s largest LGBTIQA+ basketball club)

The Carlton Baths team organised the event. Together they coordinated poolside performances from The Beastie Girls, The Gaze and Memphis LK, as well as a water ballet routine by The Clams. Apart from enjoying live music and performances, attendees could also swim in the 25m outdoor pool, participate in group fitness classes, and seek information and advice from support services.

The Queer Soiree simply marked an annual celebration of tireless work completed by the Carlton Baths team to provide a safe and inclusive space for all people in our community.” Alex Jovanovski, former Sport and Community Engagement Coordinator at Carlton Baths

The feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive, with one person stating:

I felt so safe and comfortable at the pool, which I usually don’t. I would like to feel this way at every pool, rather than this be the exception. More events like this would be amazing.” Queer Soiree attendee

At the Y, we believe in inclusion and equality for all people, regardless of age, gender, ability, religion or sexuality, and Queer Soiree is a great example of why inclusivity matters.

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