Preview: LGBT’s Queer Arts Festival

Photo Cred: Lewis Wood
The Saint sat down with LGBT Officer Fallon Sheffield who enlightened us on her committee’s ambitious festival, Queer Fest, which celebrates
the contribution that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have made to the art world.
The Saint: What is Queer Fest?
Fallon Sheffield: Queer Fest is a week-long LGBT arts-themed festival, which includes daily events, that range from film screenings, art exhibitions, craft workshops and cabaret shows. We have collaborated with a number of societies and sub-committees, including Charities for dRAG Walk, Just So for Backwards Broadway, Mermaids for The Normal Heart, and Amnesty for Panti Bliss.
TS: What inspired the LGBT committee to put on this festival?
FS: It was actually a member of the committee who mentioned that it would be a great idea to host an arts festival during February, as it coincides with LGBT History Month. What better time to raise awareness of LGBT, whilst bringing together the commuinity, and raising money for worthy charities.
Photo Cred: Lewis Wood/ Panti Bliss
Photo Cred: Lewis Wood/ Panti Bliss
TS: Can you tell me about the highlights of the festival?
FS: Definitely Panti Bliss, who is a world- renowned orator and human rights activist who has come all the way from Dublin to give a talk in the Buchanan Theatre. If you haven’t heard of her, you should definitely look her up, her speeches are groundbreaking and inspirational, and have caused controversy in her native Ireland. We also have an ex-student: Mark Bunyan coming from London to do a one-man cabaret show, which should be a delight to watch. Of course, our infamous dRAG Walk will return, which is own take on RuPaul’s Drag Race. We have ten contestants (drag queens, drag kings, and faux queens) competing for the title of St Andrews next drag superstar.
Photo Cred: Alyssa Chafee/ Lewis Wood
Photo Cred: Alyssa Chafee/ Lewis Wood
TS: Why is it important to have big LGBT events like this in St Andrews?
FS: I think the main thing is trying to make LGBT more accessible to the wider audience. I think it is often a misconception that you have to be gay to come to our events, but that is not true, we put on great events, and we are welcoming to all our allies.
More information about the events can be found on Saints LGBT’s website, Twitter or Facebook page.


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