This week, we celebrate the very first WorldPride Festival in Sydney. Both Mardi Gras and Sydney WorldPride will unite LGBTIQ+ communities and Prides from across the world for an exciting festival of events.
With support and focus on diversity and inclusivity for communities with disability, Living My Way spoke with Member Emily Dash, who is a talented writer, artist, actor, and producer, to gain her insights about the LGBTQ+ communities and Sydney World Pride.
Emily has written films such as Groundhog Night, The Cards I’m Dealt, and Valiant which features educational resources about disability and sexual relationships.
“We deserve sexy, vulnerable, visible intimate scenes too! People are far more likely to be receptive to confronting ideas when they are moved or entertained.”
The Sydney WorldPride theme is Gather. Dream. Amplify. It is more than just a festival theme. It is a calling. And Emily believes this helps promote a focus on celebrating and strengthening positive connections that create a life of opportunity.
“The idea of “imagining the future we want and demanding it” very much echoes my hopes for the disability community, obviously for those who are queer but also more generally – to take up space and be visible.”
Emily shared her thoughts about Sydney WorldPride being an important opportunity to reflect on the potential of underrepresented communities with disability, and everyone coming together for support if, and when they can to do so.
“The disability community is full of people across the whole range of the sexual spectrum. There are a lot of us who don’t conform to heteronormativity.”
Sydney World Pride celebrates 45 influential figures from across Australia’s diverse LGBTQIA+ community, each chosen for their contribution to community and culture, as appointed Rainbow Champions.
Caroline Bowditch is one of the chosen Rainbow Champions, with an acclaimed career as a performance maker and industry leader within the arts sector. Caroline’s work within the industry has achieved significant reform of funding programs for deaf and disabled artists, and Emily respects her many creative achievements.
“She is a great artist, arts worker and disability advocate. I am thrilled to see her as part of such a wonderful Champion line up!”
The intersection of disability, queer and art, is an important focus of Emily’s creative initiatives, and she believes in the right of free expression, including access to relationships and healthy sexuality.
“Art that is made about disabled sex and intimacy that explicitly welcomes a range of sexual expressions, including queerness, can make a world of difference to people.”
The disability community is made up of people across the whole range of sexual spectrum and therefore highlights the importance of nurturing and facilitating open communication.
“We are more likely to be drawn towards different ways of being, whether or not we feel allowed and able to express it. Indeed, our bodies and minds often necessitate openness to difference.”
Her ongoing performance career is an exciting focus for Emily, and she recently featured in podcast with DSC, where she shared her thoughts about relationships, vulnerability, discrimination and expressing herself through her art. Emily was also part of the Team who created a “Working with LGBTIQA+ Participants” eLearning module.
Sydney WorldPride is proud to be supporting the Sunflower Hidden Disabilities Program and is offering free lanyards to people living with hidden disabilities and/or chronic illnesses. If you already have an existing Sunflower lanyard, please bring along and wear it. If you don’t have a lanyard, you can pick one up from one of these locations.
For further information: