Help us bring emerging LGBTIQ+ choirs Rainbow Free and Equal from Fiji and Lian Esperansa (Voices of Hope) from Timor-Leste to the Out & Loud Choral Festival in Canberra this October. Progress is being made in Fiji and Timor-Leste in building acceptance for the LGBTIQ+ community, and LGBTIQ+ choirs can make a significant contribution to this by using music to open doors, hearts and minds.
We need your help to bring these emerging choirs to Canberra.
This year hosted by Canberra Gay and Lesbian Qwire, over 300 participants from LGBTIQ+ choirs are expected. A major focus for this festival is celebrating the great leaps forward in LGBTIQ+ rights in recent years, and the role of choirs in building stronger links between the queer community and society more broadly.
However, in neighbouring countries, there remains an urgent need to build acceptance for the full spectrum of gender diversity and sexual orientation.
Out & Loud organisers are seeking to support LGBTIQ+ folk in Timor-Leste and Fiji. We need to raise AUD$25,000 (US17,000) to bring them to the festival which will include individual choir and massed choral performances, music workshops, social events and critical networking opportunities.
The organisations we are working with are Rainbow Free and Equal in Fiji and Hatutan in Timor-Leste:Lian Esperansa, Timor-Leste
Lian Esperansa (Voices of Hope) is a newly established choral group in Timor-Leste. Choir members are composed of LGBTIQ+ advocates and allies who also find passion in singing.
Music has always been an important part of Timorese history and culture. It was used as a tool to convey messages of hope and inspiration during the struggle for independence.
Today, an independent Timor-Leste is making significant progress in building acceptance for the LGBTIQ+ community throughout the predominantly Catholic conservative community, unlike its neighbouring countries where community members still suffer systematic discrimination.
It is the perfect moment for a choir to boost these efforts. Through this choir, advocates and allies hope to use their unifying voice to inspire changes in this small nation and in a region of surging discrimination.Rainbow Free and Equal, Fiji
The Rainbow Free and Equal Choir was inaugurated in 2015 at the launch of the United Nations’ Free and Equal campaign in Suva, Fiji. It is comprised mainly of members of the LGBTQI community from Suva. The Choir has provided entertainment at a number of events including the celebration of IDAHOBiT (International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia), World AIDS Day and International Human Rights Day in Suva. The choir's participation in various events is also a form of soft advocacy work of the Rainbow Pride Foundation which is the organisation that leads, coordinates and manages the choir.
Donate now to help bring these choirs to Out & Loud Canberra in October 2019 and support the important role they play in their home communities.