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Raising Rainbows - a new ChillOut Festival initiative.

AUSTRALIA’S LARGEST QUEER REGIONAL FESTIVALchilloutfestival.com.au

RAISING HOPE AND RAINBOWS.

“The flag is an action – it’s more than just the cloth and the stripes. When a person puts the Rainbow Flag on his car or his house, they’re not just flying a flag. They’re taking action.”

Gilbert Baker, designer of the rainbow flag.

BY BELINDA BRAIN PRESIDENT, CHILLOUT COMMITTEE

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ince its debut in 1978, the Rainbow flag has become an international symbol of pride and a representation of the diversity of the LGBTIQ+ communities. It’s very likely to have been at every single gay pride march since and has been projected onto some of the most famous buildings in the world, including the Daylesford Town Hall every ChillOut Festival!

The Rainbow flag, also known as the Pride flag draws many responses. It invites inclusion, helps make difference visible, and recognises the rights of every individual to be acknowledged and to be kept safe from persecution. It says ‘this is a safe place.’ So, when some students from a Central Victorian Secondary College were heckled and abused for raising the Rainbow flag at their school, ChillOut saw an opportunity to support them, and our Raising Rainbows initiative was born.

The Raising Rainbows story begins at an inaugural regional IDAHOBIT* flag- raising in May 2018, which was attended by many community members and a number of the local young people from the Secondary College’s Pride and Diversity Group. The flag-raising ceremony was heart-warming and affirming and inspired the secondary students to hoist the Rainbow flag at school on their return, to mark this auspicious day in the LGBTIQ+ calendar. Unfortunately, this did not go well, the young people were heckled, abused and left reeling from the experience. Fortunately, however someone did notice the negative response and a plan was hatched to support these diverse young people to fly the Rainbow flag 365 days a year!

CALLING ALL ARTISTS

10 Please pass on to your friends or recycle responsibly.

Image by Harry Quan.

ChillOut got wind of the hurt and disappointment and consequently offered to fund a flagpole and coordinate its installation on behalf of the Secondary College Pride and Diversity Group, and we are pleased to say the Secondary College Rainbow flag was officially raised on Wear It Purple Day, 31 August 2018.

Those of us who were present during this flag raising, walked away with a sense of satisfaction and pride that these young people knew ChillOut had their backs, and that they would now be able to look to the sky each and every day and relish in the rainbow flying high for them.

*International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia

From here on in, it is ChillOut’s firm commitment to fund as many flagpoles and rainbow flags as required by regional schools, community groups and non-government notfor-profits.

Let the Rainbows fly!

This is the first major fundraiser we will be undertaking to raise money for this initiative, so come along and support us.

(The cocktail party/art auction is replacing the Roz Moynihan Worthy Cause/Lavish Lunch which was traditionally held on the Friday of the ChillOut weekend.)

Raising Rainbows Cocktail and Art Auction Thursday 7 March 5:30pm Registrations essential. Entry by donation. www.chilloutfestival.com.au

We would love you to help us by supporting this wonderful cause by donating a piece of your art that could be sold at the Chillout Art Auction which will in turn enable rainbow flags to fly in places that need them most including schools, community centres and secondary colleges.

Please contact us to discuss this important opportunity on 0431 126 125 or email info@chilloutfestival.com.au.

raisingrainbows.com.au/artists

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