Return to Volunteer
Having not volunteered to work an event in over a year I decided it was time to get back into the volunteer game. Why not start off with something different. I put my hand up to work this year’s Queer Expo which was held at St. Kilda Town Hall over last weekend. Queer Expo started with it’s very first show last year in Melbourne. Unlike previous shows I have worked, which have all been Pop Culture events this event involves the Queer and LGBTI+ Community. For more information regarding Queer Expo and any future shows please visit their website.
“A Celebration of Diversity in all its forms, Queer Expo brings VIP Celebrity Guests and Ticket Holders together to Celebrate Hope and Love, equally and without discrimination”
A Blast of a Weekend
I’m so pleased that I was able to volunteer at this year’s show as I had a blast, it was so much fun. There were times when I felt so far out of my element I had no idea what was happening. Other times where I felt perfectly suited for the environment. One of the first questions I was asked on the weekend was what pronoun I preferred. I really had to think about what that meant. Given the event I completely understand why the question was asked but definitely made me realise, how out of my element I was. As the weekend went on, that feeling went away. I learnt a lot of new things at this event
This was the first time I had ever really done anything involving the LGBTI+ Community. Which in a sense I am kind of a part of being an Asexual. Since that is something I only really figured out in the last two years, it’s all still so very new to me. I’m still just figuring things out as I go. This makes the experience of this show and being able to work it mean that little bit more. Probably why taking in, this part of the Community was so incredible.
The atmosphere for this show was amazing, everyone was really friendly. The guests, attendees and staff alike. There were some staff and volunteers I had worked with at previous events. Also many more whom I hadn’t worked with before and some I hadn’t even met before. Though we all got along and worked well together, helping each other out when necessary. It definitely brought back all those feelings of being a family like the other shows and I especially loved that.
Normally when I write these post show posts, I add a review of the event. Because I volunteered and it was the first event of it’s kind for me it’s hard for me to have an unbiased opinion. I had a very different perspective than those who attended the event. The show was good, but as always improvements could be made in the future.
That can be said about any event and improving and working with your community is apart of running these events. The venue was fantastic and made for an intimate and enjoyable event. I’m unsure what the event was like the previous year at the Showgrounds, but I think it was a wise decision to change venue. It was a smaller and more intimate venue which worked better for this time of show.
It was great that everyone was able to watch the stage during the competition and when guests were performing. Volunteers, exhibitors and other guests were all watching and that was great to see. Everyone was really getting into the whole vibe of the show.
I started the weekend off without an allocated job, I was then given one that then turned into something else. Basically I ended up running around doing a little bit of everything. Which I didn’t really have any problems with, I like being kept busy.
At the start I was on the front desk checking tickets and helping to put wristbands on attendees. I was setting up tables and chairs on the stage when needed. And the job that kept me the busiest was keeping guests hydrated. They were really enjoying their alcoholic beverages from the outside bar. Not that I drink or would ever drink whilst working but watching them making the cocktails was pretty awesome.
It started off with a bang, with little miss Pink Sasss who was performing for the very first time on stage with all the guests watching, who loved it. She put on a great show and it was the perfect way to start off the event. The guests had all brought in their own merchandise to sell. It was great seeing all the different displays at the tables, it brought a lot of colour. There were some amazing designs especially some of the shirts and tank tops. There were also a lot of fans, keyrings, stickers and much more.
Mariah Balenciaga had some amazing tank designs and I loved them. I don’t really wear tanks though so I decided to buy a bright pink ‘Bitch Unbothered’ cap instead. I love it even wore it on and off over the weekend.
There were panels held throughout the weekend. Guests would speak about their experiences. They would share their tips on how to do drag, I didn’t really hear much of the panels but the parts I did hear were entertaining. I did manage to snap a few photos in the quieter moments.
Some great conversations were had throughout the weekend. I enjoyed talking to the guests, especially Mariah and Vivacious. Mariah is an absolutely stunning Drag Queen was lovely to talk to and she was fantastic with all of her fans. All the guests were really great with their fans.
Vivacious is incredible, out of all of the Drag Queens, she was the only one that was constantly at her table and interacting with fans. I had a great chat to her on Sunday, she talked to me about her costumes and all the different headpieces she has and their names. Vivacious had her headpiece called Ornacia with her, she was allowing fans to wear Ornacia and pose for photos with her. Vivacious was wearing her headpiece named Prideacia (I believe) on the Sunday. She had so many amazing stories to tell I’m honoured to have had the chance to hear them.
The Drag Competition
It was the afternoon performances for the Drag Competition that really stood out the most though. They were amazing to watch. As someone whose idea of drag has only come from movies such as Priscilla Queen of the Desert and The Birdcage. It was fantastic to actually watch these performances, it has given me a new perspective of drag. It makes me want to get more involved in the scene and watch more. The lip-sync battles were he greatest part to watch. I loved the camaraderie between contestants and that the judges always gave advice to better performances in the future.
I loved watching the winner of last years Drag Competition, Bebe Gunn preform. She was amazing and I loved how quick she was able to flick from hosting the competition to performing. She does it so well and brings a comedy element to it which made it that much more entertaining. All the performances were amazing to watch though. The talent of these people is incredible from the make-up and costumes to the actual performances. One competitor even sung their song during their performance which was pretty impressive.
The winner of the competition was announced on the Sunday night before the show closed. It was a lot of fun to be involved with. I got to shower the winner is confetti by setting off a giant party popper. It was an honour to be involved even in such a small way. I got some decent photos from my angle of the stage too.
The winner of the Drag Competition was: Drag King Mr. Justin Teliqure! An absolutely amazing performer who definitely deserved to win and take home the crown.
I learnt a lot over this weekend, especially about Drag. As mentioned, my only real knowledge of drag was from movies, so it was great to see in person. I learnt that there are not just Drag Queens but also Drag Kings and even Bio Queens (when a women drags as a woman). These were things that I never knew but am now aware of so I can be more informed for next time.
All in all I had an amazing time, I feel a little more connected with the Queer and LGBTI+ Community now. I hope I get the chance to work another event like this in the future. The Queens were all amazing to work with, keeping me busy with those trips to the bar and back. They were so friendly and kind, there was a lot of laughter and the friendship between them was great to see and experience.
The End of the Show
As the show came to an end, all the guests got up on the stage to a crowd applauding them. The owner and organiser thanked them for coming, he then thanked the volunteers and staff. We all had to get up on the stage as well. First time for everything but it was nice to be acknowledged in such a way for helping out, plus it was fun!
All in all it was a great event, and I’m very glad that I could be apart of the adventure. Here’s to another Queer Expo in the future. I would love to be able to immerse myself into this community further.