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Dancing queens: come back out

Social isolation is a growing epidemic for Australians with one in four adults suffering from significantly worse mental and physical health due to loneliness.


This is more acute for older Australians, and even more so for members of the LGBTIQ+ community who tend to go “back in the closet” as they get older and require medical care or assistance.


“Living in the country, I sometimes feel a little bit isolated. So it's a great opportunity to connect with that community in a good way.” - Markie Linhart


Tristan Meecham and Bec Reid started the All the Queen’s Men (ATQM) LGBTI Elders Dance Club in 2014 as a way of championing equality, social health and human connection.


“We collaborate with communities of all shapes, sizes and identities to produce creative, transformative experiences,” says Tristan. “It's about building community over a long period of time and acknowledging that you can come out no matter what age you are.”



For dance club member Markie Linhart, attending ATQM’s monthly dance club provides a sense of belonging. “Living in the country, I sometimes feel a little bit isolated. So it's a great opportunity to connect with that community in a good way,” she explains.


But the benefits of the dance club aren’t just for elderly members. Volunteer nutritionist Beau-Luke Colton says spending time with the members and creating trans-generational relationships has helped him better appreciate the privileges he has today as a younger member of the LGBTIQ+ community.


Guest coordinator, Sara Strachan, says the dance club creates a safe space for people of all ages, genders and identities to come together. “It's really important that we have this consistent monthly event and an opportunity to come together, unite and just have fun, dance and connect.” 


Beyond the glitter


The ANZ & Sydney Mardi Gras Community Grants extend support and commitment to the LGBTIQ+ community beyond Mardi Gras festivities. The grants provide financial funding for a wide range of purposes including education and training, community development and creation, arts and culture. 


Grants of up to $A10,000 were awarded to LGBTIQ+ not-for-profit community organisations, charities and individuals to help support Australian LGBTIQ+ communities. 12 recipients were awarded grants for the 2019 program, including All the Queen’s Men.


Sara says the grant will help the dance club step it up a notch. “It takes a lot of work to bring together a community and to bring together an event, month in and month out. And so this funding is going to be really helpful.”


Maggie Joyce is Sponsorships Manager at ANZ


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