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Image: Simone Stanislai

Welcome to Midsumma Festival 2019, Australia's premier queer arts and culture festival, for and by LGBTQIA+ communities.

Midsumma Festival 2019 takes place from Saturday 19 January to Sunday 10 February.

The following events are highlighted as being especially relevant for trans and gender diverse audiences to enjoy!

To find events created by trans artists, look for the 'TRANS CREATOR' tag. For events touching on trans themes, stories and experiences, see the 'TRANS CONTENT' tag.


Beast by Krishna Istha – Arts House: 31 Jan - 2 Feb
Part stand-up comedy and part performance art, Krishna Istha's Beast, directed by Zoe Coombs Marr, is a comedic exploration into the life of a trans person in 2019, what it means to be trans "masculine" without becoming the men we hate.
TRANS CONTENT | TRANS CREATOR: trans / transmasculine / testosterone / toxic masculinity

Dancing Qweens – Dancehouse: 21 - 25 Jan + 28 Jan - 3 Feb
Dancing Qweens is a new work exploring 50 years of queer dance history into a highly interactive experience by Choreographer and Dancer James Welsby. Performances + classes + workshops + panel discussions.
TRANS CONTENT: queer history / queer bodies / education / non binary

Gender Euphoria – Arts Centre Melbourne: 24 Jan
Cabaret icons Mama Alto and Maude Davey embark upon a new variety adventure — featuring a lineup of trans and gender diverse performers.
TRANS CONTENT | TRANS CREATOR: trans / self-exploration / happiness / body

Lisa-Skye's Hare Hole Takeover! – Hare Hole: 22 - 25 Jan
Spoken word for everyone, speed dating for femmes, and all the things Lisa loves! Each night has a different focus including consent, body positivity, cliches, expectations, grey areas and much more.
TRANS CONTENT | TRANS CREATOR: consent / body positivity / cliches / expectations

MDLSX by Motus – Arts House: 31 Jan - 2 Feb
MDLSX by Italian artist Sylvia Calderoni captures their experience of being an intersex person. A "scandalous" theatrical trip set to the Smiths, Vampire Weekend, REM and Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
TRANS CONTENT | TRANS CREATOR | INTERSEX: freedom / gender bending / body / belonging

Midsumma Extravaganza – Arts Centre Melbourne: 29 Jan
Set in the grand dame that is Hamer Hall, the 2019 Midsumma Extravaganza is a celebration of Australia's amazingly diverse and talented LGBTI artists, and is shaping up to be one of THE queer events of the year!

Panopticon by Simona Castricum – Arts House: 31 Jan
Melbourne vocalist and electronic percussionist Simona Castricum performs an emotive collection of songs about the fear of missing out, set between contradictions of intimacy and self-reflection against the burdens of scrolling, surveillance and isolation.

Preludes and Nocturnes – Hare Hole: 6 - 8 Feb
An evening of music for three keyboards with spellbinding projected imagery, Preludes and Nocturnes explores unfolding ideas in a post-minimalist sound world, reflecting on being alone and being together when everything around us is changing.
TRANS CREATOR: isolation / community / change

Queer Lady Magician – The Melba Spiegeltent: 30 Jan - 3 Feb
What’s with all these straight white men in Orientalist drag? Creatrix Tiara, Queer Lady Magician, revisits a childhood love for stage magic with a sense of social justice — and a severe case of impostor syndrome.
TRANS CONTENT | TRANS CREATOR: immigrant experiences / colonisation / racism / magic / memory / trauma / personal growth / relationships

Radical Rituals – The Melba Spiegeltent: 1, 7, 9 Feb
Joyous and rebellious, this is a queer punk cabaret of the divine kind. Join drag deity Glitterfist and spectacular guest artists as they spread the gospel of love, rage, and filth. Feast on sacred installations and radical rituals of drag, burlesque and performance art.
TRANS CONTENT | TRANS CREATOR: love / rage / spirituality

Rebel – The Melba Spiegeltent: 30 Jan - 3 Feb
A live circus rock tribute to the original rebel, David Bowie. Combining music, circus and comedy, bringing to life an incredible body of work that spanned over 50 years, with an aesthetic that inspired generations.
TRANS CONTENT: David Bowie / glam rock / circus

TAINT – Hare Hole: 30 Jan
Somewhere in the warm, wet place between fantasy and filth lies TAINT... a vibrant art party of intimate experimentation with Melbourne’s most creatively ambitious cabaret, drag and burlesque muses and misfits.
TRANS CONTENT | TRANS CREATOR: experimental variety cabaret

The Butch Monologues – Theatreworks: 27 Jan - 3 Feb
Hear powerful and often humorous secret stories exploring sexuality, vulnerability and desire taken from interviews with butches, masculine women, gender rebels and transmen living across the world.
TRANS CONTENT | TRANS CREATOR: butches / masculine women / gender rebels / trans masculinity

The Legend of Queen Kong – Arts Centre Melbourne: 16 - 20 Jan
Sarah Ward, the artist behind Yana Alana, brings you QUEEN KONG in a rock-concert, space-fiction of meteoric proportions backed by all-queer, all-gender-diverse rock band the HOMOsapiens.
TRANS CONTENT: sci-fi / mythology / rock music

The Rest Is Drag – Chapel Off Chapel: 24 - 26 Jan
This original queer musical questions traditional understandings of identity, and the ways in which everyone can restrictively define themselves by labels.
TRANS CONTENT | TRANS CREATOR: self-discovery / labels / sexuality / gender identity

Third Nature by Raina Peterson and Govind Pillai – Arts House: 31 Jan - 2 Feb
Third Nature is an opulent dance work exploring the wildness of gender and the weirdness of human sexuality. A sensuous, riotous work of lavish beauty and playful disarray by Raina Peterson and Govind Pillai.
TRANS CONTENT | TRANS CREATOR: gender / weirdness of sexuality / colonisation


Body and Country – Arts House: 2 Feb
Join lyrical poet, Lay the Mystic, and artist and writer, SJ Norman, as they discuss their experiences of embodiment and connection with Country as First Nations trans people.
TRANS CONTENT | TRANS CREATOR: poetry / writing / first nations experiences / connection with country

Dads, Donors and More – Loop Bar: 29 Jan
An evening of rainbow family story sharing from a diverse group of GBTQ, gender diverse and non-binary dads, parents and donors who identify as male, covering the tricky aspects of co-parenting, being a known donor, surrogacy, foster care and more.
TRANS CONTENT: families / adoption / surrogacy / foster care

Queer @ the Library? – Frankston Library: 4 Feb
Nevo Zisin first came out as lesbian at 15, then two years later as transgender. Releasing their memoir Finding Nevo on gender and sexuality, Nevo is unafraid to delve into difficult and often taboo topics.
TRANS CONTENT | TRANS CREATOR: taboo / writing / trans identity

Speak Up! I can't Hear You – Federation Square - Deakin Edge: 29 Jan
A panel discussion on storytelling in LGBTQIA+ communities.
TRANS CONTENT | TRANS CREATOR: panel discussion / queer stories / issues

Writers in Conversation – Newport Community Hub: 31 Jan
Bobuq Sayed and Adolfo Aranjuez are friends and colleagues on Archer Magazine. Join them as they discuss their writing, their inspiration and the direction of queer stories for a new generation.
TRANS CONTENT | TRANS CREATOR: Archer magazine / writing / literature / personal experiences

Families and Youth

Mad Hatter Tea Party – The Substation: 23 Jan
Are you 12-25 living in Victoria? Want to meet other gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans and queer young people? Join us for a mad hatter tea party event!
TRANS CONTENT: costumes / meet & greet / community / westside

Rainbow Family Storytime – Newport Community Hub: 1 Feb
Join drag performers Rex Spandex and Jesse Dean for a very special Storytime celebrating diverse families, celebrating identity, and embracing who you are.
TRANS CONTENT: talks / sausage sizzle / youth / westside


Dapper – Bundoora Homestead Art Centre: 17 Jan - 3 Mar
A finessed fashion sensibility that considers costuming, codes and the allure of the queer gaze.
TRANS CONTENT: fashion / gender fluidity / queer histories

De/Afficiency by Debris Facility – Arts House: 31 Jan - 2 Feb
In this new responsive installation project by Debris Facility, im/material entanglements of the administration of control and haptic pleasures work with and against each other.
TRANS CONTENT | TRANS CREATOR: life drawing / technology / consumerism

Hitched – Wyndham Art Gallery: 14 Jan - 10 Feb
Looking to art and the public archive, Hitched reflects on the histories and politics of queer communities and their relationship to legalised unions following on from the Australian Marriage Law Plebiscite.
TRANS CREATOR: equal marriage / history / politics

Personal Touch – Incinerator Gallery: 22 Jan - 17 Feb
In the time of the camera phone, self-representation by artists provokes needed discussion on the problematic binaries associated with gender and identity.
TRANS CONTENT | TRANS CREATOR: self-portraiture / technology / modernity / binaries / selfhood

Unbroken – Gasworks Arts Park: 22 Jan - 10 Feb
Unbroken is an intersectional cultural space for people with experiences of diverse gender and sexuality, race, disability, mental illness, asylum seeking and sexual assault.
TRANS CONTENT: Kintsugi / body painting / vulnerability / transformation / intersectionality / cultural diversity

Community and Culture

BodMod Salon – Arts House: 2 Feb
A small-group workshop to learn basic skills in body casting, and in the process explore issues around bodies, gender and expressions of identities.
TRANS CONTENT | TRANS CREATOR: BODY / bodycasting / gender / expression / sculpture

Consent Festival – The Melba Spiegeltent: 19 Jan
Explore conversations that connect ideas of consent with LGBTQIA+ communities, welcoming intersectionality and accessibility. Engage through open forums, practical workshops, deep-dive discussions, and even sparkling performances.
TRANS CONTENT: consent / polyamory / sex work / sex | gay / queer / female / First Nations / disability / non binary

HABITS and friends – Arts House: 2 Feb
A music event that blurs the edges of party, performance, gender and body, headlining with HABITS and featuring some of Melbourne's finest trans, gender diverse and intersex performers.
TRANS CONTENT | TRANS CREATOR | INTERSEX: party / performance / gender diversity / body

Miss Gay & Miss Transsexual Australia International – Williamstown Town Hall: 2 Feb
Who will be crowned in the 10th year anniversary of the country's biggest and most talked about pageant for drag queens and transgender beauties? This year’s theme: "Colours of the World".
TRANS CONTENT | TRANS CREATOR: pageant / cultural diversity

Unicorns - The Festival! – Northcote Town Hall: 2 Feb
Unicorns will be taking over Northcote Town Hall with a delicious fest full of music, shows, activities, art and workshops and more.
TRANS CONTENT | TRANS CREATOR: music / shows / art / glitter / performance / workshops / party



2019 Events

19 Jan — 10 Feb 2019