Scotland’s LGBTI+ elder community is to be celebrated in a unique digital event this summer.
The Coming Back Out Ball, pioneered by Australian arts organisation All the Queens Men in, is the culmination of monthly social dance clubs which have been taking place since 2019 – beginning in person, and latterly – due to the pandemic – digitally.
The project was started in Scotland following discussions in which older members of the LGBTI+ community said they feared they may ‘return to the closet’ in old age due to a loss of independence and a reliance on carers and residential care.
A co-production with National Theatre of Scotland, presented in partnership with Eden Court and Luminate, Scotland’s creative ageing organisation, and in association with Glasgow City Council, the project aims to strengthen the LGBTI+ over 50s community and promote their visibility and safety.
Taking place digitally on June 26, The Coming Back Out Ball will see the coming together of all LGBTI+ elders and allies who have participated in the social dance clubs over the last two years across Scotland, the UK and internationally.
The event will reflect and amplify the elders’ voices and stories, celebrating memories and their dreams together for the future. There will be three social dance clubs in the run up to the final event.
Hosted online by Karen Dunbar and Jamie Rea, the ball will feature performances from Horse, performance poet, Dean Atta and playwright, Jo Clifford.
Ticketholders will receive a special ‘A Ball in a Box’ delivery in advance of the event, to help create a unique party atmosphere in their own living room.
Lewis Hetherington, Creative Lead, The Coming Back Out Ball said: “I feel so honoured to work on this project, with Scotland’s incredible community of LGBTI+ Elders.
“From our first steps together at the first LGBTI+ Elders Social Dance Club in May 2019 to now, I have laughed, cried and been so inspired.
“I am so proud we’ve created a space where our Elders can step forward, in their own time, on their terms, to share their stories and express themselves.”
Tristan Meecham and Bec Reid, Artistic Directors, All The Queens Men, said: “It is a profound honour to be connecting older LGBTI+ and allied communities globally in this online space.
“Older LGBTI+ people across Australia and Scotland have been able to creatively and socially connect in regular, joyful, inclusive and dynamic Social Dance Clubs during times of immense disconnection.
“This partnership with National Theatre of Scotland, Eden Court, Luminate and Glasgow City Council has inspired universal, values led connections. All The Queens Men look forward to welcoming more and more beloved LGBTI+ Elders and allies into the global Dance Club family.”
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