This project ran from May 2019 - June 2021.
The original Coming Back Out Ball and Social Dance Clubs were pioneered in Australia by All The Queens Men. The project was then started in Scotland following discussions where many older LGBTI+ people said they feared they may ‘return to the closet’ as they lose independence with age, particularly if they need to rely on carers or residential care. The project aimed to strengthen the LGBTI+ over 50s community and promoted their visibility and safety.
This is the first time that this radical community focused project had been created and shared outside of Australia.
The Coming Back Out Ball and Social Dance Clubs addressed ageism, social isolation, homophobia, lesbophobia, biphobia and transphobia by supporting the recreational, artistic and social rights of LGBTI+ over 50s, creating a regular safe, inclusive space. It also facilitated the physical, cognitive and emotional benefits that come from regular creative and physical practice.
Produced in partnership with:
The Coming Back Out Ball is designed to be a gift – one that acknowledges the resilience of this community, a gift of visibility to LGBTI+ elders who have lived through it all, and a safe space for those elders just discovering themselves.
Pat Byrne - Glasgow West End
One over-arching high was the way that the final event was so fully utopian because the intersectionality of voices that would otherwise be marginal were put into the centre of discourse, which felt so carefully managed and held as an event, that it felt really, really special.
Feedback from a project participant