21 March 2019
First in a year-long series of engagement events for LGBTI+ elders will take place at the Tron Bar, Glasgow, in May 2019. Project will culminate in a spectacular final event in Glasgow 2020, the first time The Coming Back Out Ball will place outside of Australia.
The Coming Back Out Ball - a National Theatre of Scotland and All The Queens Men co-production, in partnership with Eden Court and Luminate, in association with Glasgow City Council.
National Theatre of Scotland Creative Lead: Lewis Hetherington All The Queens Men Creative Leads: Tristan Meecham and Bec Reid
The National Theatre of Scotland is delighted to be partnering with international participatory superstars, All the Queens Men, Scotland’s creative ageing organisation, Luminate, and Eden Court Theatre Inverness, to launch a year-long cultural engagement programme created for the LGBTI+ elder community in Scotland. The project is being produced in association with Glasgow City Council.
The Coming Back Out Ball has been pioneered in Australia by arts company All The Queens Men. Lewis Hetherington will collaborate with creative leads from the company on the project in Scotland to create a series of social events for older Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Gender Diverse, and Intersex individuals and groups to take part in, offering a chance to meet new folk and celebrate community.
The first Glasgow engagement event in will be The LGBTI+ Elders Social Dance Club, which will take place at the Tron Bar on 19 May 2019. The Dance Club will be a fabulous, free event for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Gender Diverse, and Intersex elders and allies to get a taste of plans for the final The Coming Back Out Ball. This event will also provide a space for people to share stories, memories, hopes and passions, and of course, dance moves. No prior dance experience is required, just curiosity. The events will take place monthly until Spring 2020, led by artistic practitioners Emma Jayne Park, Fraser McLeod, and Chris Wilson.
The LGBTI+ Elders Social Dance Club will also take place in Inverness later in the month, with an event on 26 May at Eden Court Theatre led by artistic practitioners Amy Watt and Lou Brodie.
Full details of the final social spectacular, the actual The Coming Back Out Ball will be announced next year. Taking place in Glasgow, it promises to be a night of cultural significance in which the broader community can sit alongside LGBTI elders to eat, drink, dance, reminisce and dream together into the future.
Two editions have been presented in Melbourne, Australia in 2017 and 2018. Australian and international editions are confirmed for 2019, 2020 and 2021. This is the first time that this radical community project has been delivered outside of Australia.
Established by Australian artists Tristan Meecham and Bec Reid, All The Queens Men champions social equality celebrating diverse communities through creative actions, contemporary arts and socially engaged frameworks. They create spectacular theatrical and participatory art experiences and their work is presented globally at arts festivals and cultural contexts.
In the UK elders have lived through times when being LGBTI could result in imprisonment, loss of employment and rejection by family or friends. For many, impending old age has meant some are going back into the closet, for fear of being deprived of companionship and quality care when they need it most.
Lewis Hetherington – Creative Lead (National Theatre of Scotland) said:
“This fantastic project gives us a chance, as a nation, to celebrate and amplify the voices of the LGBTI+ Elder community. It’s a chance to better understand our history and enrich our future. I cannot wait to hear and share in the stories, hopes and dreams of all the people who will be joining us at our regular social dance clubs and the spectacular ball itself in 2020”
Tristan Meecham and Bec Reid - All The Queens Men said:
“The LGBTI+ Elders Dance Club and The Coming Back Out Ball are part of a global movement that places the social, mental and physical rights of LGBTI+ elders at the forefront of creative action and community celebration. The project, which premiered in Melbourne Australia, is inspired by research revealing that many older LGBTI+ people closet their sexual, gendered or cultural identity in aged care homes because they don’t feel safe. Through the partnership of National Theatre of Scotland, Luminate Festival and Eden Court, All The Queens Men are thrilled this inspiring project will unite LGBTI+ elders around Scotland. We acknowledge the huge contribution these elders have made to social and political change and offer this project as a gift, that leads towards a shared optimistic future where everyone feels safe.”
Anne Gallacher – Director of Luminate said:
“I am thrilled that Luminate is a partner in this exciting new initiative for Scotland, and I look forward very much to collaborating with the LGBTI community and with the creative teams from the National Theatre of Scotland and All The Queens Men over the coming year. Luminate’s creative programme with, by and for older people across Scotland has featured projects in partnership with LGBTI elders, who have lived through less liberal times and can face additional challenges as they age as a result. The Coming Back Out Ball will celebrate the contribution of older LGBTI people to Scotland’s history and to Scottish life today, and the social and creative events that lead up to it will ensure that the Ball truly reflects the diversity of Scotland’s oldest citizens.”
Councillor David McDonald, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, said:
: “Glasgow is home to Scotland’s largest population of LGBTI+ people and our diversity is a fundamental source of the city’s vitality and spirit.
Glasgow City Council is committed to working with the LGBTI+ community to achieve our shared ambitions of making the city the best place in Europe for LGBTI+ people to live and visit, and to developing a long-term, sustainable strategy which ensures equality for those people that call Glasgow their home.
“As such, we’re delighted to be supporting the National Theatre of Scotland, All the Queen’s Men and Luminate in their delivery of The Coming Back Out Ball programme over the next 12 months, which will further strengthen and showcase Glasgow’s existing innovative and vibrant LGBTI cultural scene.”
The LGBTI+ Elders Social Dance Club
The LGBTI+ Elders Social Dance Club is a fabulous, free event for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Gender Diverse, and Intersex elders and allies, offering a chance to meet new people and celebrate community alongside refreshments, music, conversations and dancing.
Participants are invited to join for the session below:
Location: The Tron bar, Glasgow
Date: 19 May 2019
Time: 2 – 4 pm
LGTBI elders and groups can book in for this session, or register their interest in taking part in The Coming Back Out Ball social events by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0141 221 0970.
Advance booking is not required, interested parties are free to turn up at the session.
More social events will run throughout 2019, in locations to be announced.
Join the conversation: #comingbackoutball
Watch the community call-out video.