The SpringOUT Festival’s booths clutched the verge around what we in the ‘burbs call the nature strip of Westlund House – that’s in Acton behind Beauchamp House in a street I’ve never known the name of and don’t intend to commit to memory - where the only thing nature has done to the space is provide sustenance for some solid trees. The grass is dust, the kerb and gutters don’t exist and Westlund House could do with a makeover.
I think most of us have ignored this space in the convergence of arcs circles and intersections in this Acton precinct where given a chance it could be used advantageously for something other than what’s there now, particularly the carpark where in time honoured tradition we who hate paying for parking are ever hopeful of a space. And I found one before venturing into the dust-up that had SpringOUT fair stall holders clutching their brochures, handouts and other paraphernalia. “Aren’t I glad I wore white shorts” said Jarrad West scarcastically as he does with style, who with Jenny Wookey from Supa Production was clutching lots of pink papers advertising the up- coming production of La Cage aux Folles at the ANU Arts Centre from 7 Novemeber and encouraging fair patrons to enter a competition to win tickets.
The Qwire was singing; that’s the Canberra Gay and Lesbian Qwire. They’re so good and are having a concert on 29 November at Llewellyn Hall called from the Sublime to the Ridiculous with bookings on www.canberraqwire.org.au. In the mix of booths there was plenty of information, which is what this annual fair aims to share and some mighty mutts, pedigreed pooches and loveable lickers among the dogs about to be entered in the dog parade walking the walk. The two King Charles spaniels got my vote as the perfect pair. And like moth to the flame I found the jewellery of Park Lane, politely declined any thought of Roller Derby participation and the chance to sit and pose on a Ducati, knowing if it fell over I wouldn’t be able to pick it up.
The event, supported by the AIDS Action Council of the ACT, is a launch platform for a month of activities for Canberra’s LGBTQI community with the full list of activities, in November at www.springout.com.au.