LGBTI seniors Out & About at Midsumma Pride March is a project of Switchboard Victoria. Switchboard is a community-based not for profit organisation that provides peer based, volunteer run support for LGBTQIA+ people and their allies. They received a grant from Lesbian Incorporated in May of 2020. This community grant was awarded to help support Out & About- Switchboard’s free home visiting service that connects lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people across Victoria.
Their peer volunteer visitors make regular social visits to socially isolated older people living at home or in aged care as part of the national Community Visitors Scheme. Switchboard Victoria is using funding to make events like the annual Midsumma Pride March accessible to older lesbians and LGBTI women who use the Out & About program.
Switchboard Victoria’s experience working with older lesbians in the Out & About program has highlighted a lack of accessible transport (such as maxi taxis and a wheelchair accessible bus) as a major barrier to older lesbians with disabilities connecting with the LGBTI community. Without accessible transport to and from the event older lesbians with disability using the Out & About program physically cannot attend the Midsumma Pride March. To find out more information about Switchboard Victoria and their programs please visit their website.
**COVID-19 update: Out & About service continues with the option of in person visits or virtual / phone / mail contact. Volunteer visitors are trained in COVID-19 infection control. New referrals to use our service are still welcomed at this time**