Rainbow Community Angels: a new LGBTIQA+ community-led safety project
***Amazing! We reached our (first) target in less than 24 hours! So we have raised the funding goal - thank you to everyone who has donated!
When LGBTIQA+ people need support, it’s time to get organised!
WHY YOUR SUPPORT IS NEEDED
The Rainbow Community Angels is a new community-led safety initiative. Your support will enable us to train and support LGBTIQA+ people and allies to take part in peaceful actions to support community safety at inclusive events like Drag Storytime, currently being targeted as part of a broader rise in transphobia and homophobia in Australia and beyond.
WHO WE ARE
Founding project organisers include experienced LGBTIQA+ advocates, drag queens, trans and gender diverse people and rainbow families. Anyone who supports our aims and ways of working will be welcome to join us.
HOW WE WILL WORK
We are planning to:
• Train and support LGBTIQA people and allies to take part in our actions.
• Offer our presence to Councils, libraries, cafes etc organising LGBTIQA+ inclusive events.
• Work with their staff to increase event safety through our highly visible, peaceful, supportive community presence.
• Provide safe passage for everyone to participate in these events in their community.
WHAT WE WILL DO AT EVENTS
People can participate in a range of ways:
• Some will wear magnificent angel wings, shielding people entering the event from seeing any hostile protesters who are present.
• Some will act as marshals, assisting with communication and safety for Rainbow Community Angels, event staff and participants.
• Some will liaise as needed with media, event organisers and others.
WHAT WE AIM TO ACHIEVE
Through our actions we aim to:
• Empower LGBTIQA+ people to stand up for our right to safety, visibility and equality.
• Support the efforts of Councils, small businesses and others to include and celebrate LGBTIQA+ people and our families in their communities.
• Help provide safety for LGBTIQA+ artists, community members and families to take part.
Angels: a proud LGBTIQA+ tradition
Angels have become a proud peaceful LGBTIQA+ tradition.
• The first were classmates of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man murdered in Colorado in 1998. They used their Angel wings to shield his family and community from homophobic protesters at his murderers’ trial.
• In 2016, Angels shielded mourners at the funerals of Orlando nightclub shooting victims, again shielding them from homophobic protesters.
• In 2017 in Melbourne, Angels welcomed LGBTIQA+ youth to the Minus 18 Queer Formal in St Kilda, when homophobes threatened to picket it (they stayed away). The photo above is of some those angels!
WHAT YOUR MONEY WILL SUPPORT
A small committee will administer funds, which will support:
• Construction and maintenance of wings and costumes
• Purchase and printing of vests for marshals
• Safety training for Angels, marshals and coordinators
• Promotion of the Angels including to councils and other organisations
• Debriefing after actions to support safety and participant wellbeing.
• Storage of wings/costumes, remuneration for travel or other minor costs.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
1. Donate and share the gofundme page
2. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rainbowcommunityangels
3. Email [email redacted] to register your interest in being an Angel or marshal or to help out in other ways (do we have a wing construction expert in the audience?!)
As Dean aka Frock Hudson says:
“As a community, we are no strangers to coming together, activating and supporting one another when we need to. The current climate of hate towards the trans community and drag performers through rising misinformation and protests is all too familiar to many of us. Which is why we are drawing on our history and calling on our diverse community to come together and do what we can. Through proper communication and training, supporting one another, and a splatter of glitter we know what a huge difference we can make. Not just young and marginalised people finding their way, but for everyone to feel safe, seen and respected. “
Thank you for your kind support.
In love, rainbow sparkles and solidarity
Flis Marlowe, Dean Arcuri and Sean Mulcahy
Rainbow Community Angels
Working together to make our LGBTIQA+ communities, kids & families feel safer, connected & supported.
Melbourne/Naarm, Victoria. Australia