The Coming Back Out Ball - a spectacular interactive digital event celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Gender Diverse, and Intersex Elders in Scotland, is set to take place on Saturday 26 June 2021.
The Coming Back Out Ball is the spectacular culmination of monthly Social Dance Clubs for LGBTI+ Elders and allies which have been presented around Scotland and beyond since 2019, moving online in 2020. This unique interactive digital event invites all Social Dance Club participants, allies and the rainbow community to come together and celebrate LGBTI+ Elders across Scotland, UK and internationally.
The Coming Back Out Ball promises a fabulous evening of music, dancing, creativity and chat. The Ball will be hosted online by Karen Dunbar and Jamie Rea with performances from Horse, Dean Atta and Jo Clifford and a contribution from Maggie Kinloch. Each Ball attendee will receive a Special‘A Ball in a Box’ delivery, filled with surprises to ensure that everyone experiences a unique party atmosphere in their own living room.
The first Coming Back Out Ball and Social Dance Clubs were pioneered in Australia by arts organisation All The Queens Men. The Coming Back Out Ball project and Social Dance Clubs started in Scotland following discussions in which older members of the LGBTI+ community said they feared they may ‘return to the closet’ as they lose independence with age, particularly if needing to rely on carers or residential care. The project aims to strengthen the LGBTI+ over 50s community and promote their visibility and safety.
Social Dance Club participant said “So much of last evening pushed me to the boundaries of my emotions. The fact that I felt happy and secure in letting myself experience those emotions just shows how important being with you guys is for me”
Lewis Hetherington, Creative Lead, The Coming Back Out Ballsaid “I feel so honoured to work on this project, with Scotland's incredible community of LGBTI+ Elders. From our first steps together at the first LGBTI+ Elders Social Dance Club in May 2019 to now, I have laughed, cried and been so inspired. I am so proud we've created a space where our Elders can step forward, in their own time, on their terms, to share their stories and express themselves.”
Tristan Meecham and Bec Reid, Artistic Directors, All The Queens Men said“It is a profound honour to be connecting older LGBTIQ+ and allied communities globally in this online space. Older LGBTI+ people across Australia and Scotland have been able to creatively and socially connect in regular, joyful, inclusive and dynamic Social Dance Clubs during times of immense disconnection. This partnership with National Theatre of Scotland, Eden Court, Luminate and Glasgow City Council has inspired universal, values led connections. All The Queens Men look forward to welcoming more and more beloved LGBTIQ+ Elders and allies into the global Dance Club family.”
James McKenzie-Blackman, CEO, Eden Court said “‘All of us at Eden Court have been greatly impacted by this special partnership with the National Theatre of Scotland, All The Queens Men and Luminate. The Social Dance Clubs have created a new space for LGBTI+ elders in the Highlands to meet, more recently digitally, to share stories, connect, debate and dance! We remain committed to further imbedding the project into the life of Eden Court, a building that proudly welcomes everyone, regardless of diversity or difference.”
Anne Gallacher, Director, Luminate, said“It’s been a privilege to share the journey of this project, and to connect with LGBTI+ elders across Scotland. The contribution they have made – and continue to make - to our society is huge. Older people have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, and at this tough time we know that the social dance clubs have provided a welcome opportunity for LGBTI+ elders to feel part of a community, to connect with friends old and new, to feel safe, have fun, and learn something new along the way.”
The Coming Back Out Ball is presented in partnership with All The Queen’s Men, the Australian cultural participatory arts pioneers, alongside Eden Court and Luminate, Scotland’s creative ageing organisation, and in association with Glasgow City Council.
The National Theatre of Scotland Creative Lead on the project is Lewis Hetherington and for All The Queens Men, Artistic Directors Tristan Meecham and Bec Reid.
The LGBTI+ Social Dance Club events are led by creative practitioners Emma Jayne Park, Fraser MacLeod, Chris Stuart Wilson, Amy Watt and Lou Brodie.