BLUR is the new heart and soul of the Brisbane LGBTQ community. Albert, Tessa and Sven, three creatives living in Brisbane, took a chance and an opportunity to create a space unlike any other in the Brisbane club scene. With different backgrounds, they have teamed up to create a night and a show that is well worth the month long wait and well worth the late Thursday evening. BLUR is a new club night held at Laruche in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, that aims to break down the barriers of self-expression and push the limits of what social acceptance is perceived as.
‘We came together just at the right timing, I was really wanting to create a space. BLUR started around mid-year… my New Year’s Resolution was to give back to the community. I’ve been a part of the gay scene for a while and all I’ve done is really take. There was such a bad culture at the time within the scene. I’m not really into big Pride marches or things like that so my way of impacting or giving back is to create a safe space for my friends.
“My only reason to start BLUR was because there were only two clubs in Brisbane that were for the gay community, you’ve got the Beat or Fluffy’s, which we love and we represent hard. We just wanted something different to bring to Brisbane, just something interesting. It’s not like a club night where you go out and get absolutely wasted and then leave at like 3am, it's more of a bar setting where you’re able to meet people, have conversations and enjoy a drag show on a weekday.
BLUR was created as a space for people to feel comfortable in their own skin and express themselves in whichever way they choose. Over the past six to eight months, BLUR has slowly gained larger audiences for their drag show at the end of the evening. The drag performances, hosted by the resident queen Kitty Kardashian, are a showcase of drag fashion and performance. Each month the team try and get a guest queen in to perform and create an opportunity outside of the bigger clubs to perform.
“Something that we’ve always tried to do from the very beginning was give a platform to younger queens or queens that usually don’t get a platform. At the time, there was no opportunity at the Beat for new performers or anything like that, there were no opportunities at all for any new performers so we really wanted to create a platform and showcase what usually isn’t showcased.”
“Every time we hope to have a different guest, that’s what we really hope to have. We want all the different queens to come and express themselves!”
Sven, who performs as Kitty Kardashian, has been within the drag community for the past seven years and has, since performing at BLUR, wanted to change the way drag is done. Popular drag, that most would know from shows such as Ru Paul’s Drag Race, has queens lip-syncing and performing musical numbers, Sven and the team want to change the way they perform drag at BLUR.
“In terms of the new scene and things, if you have a nice body and you chuck on some lingerie and a wig that makes you a drag queen or that makes you more entitled to someone that may not look as gorgeous as you in drag but they’ve been doing it for fifty years… I have so much respect for those people that will happily go out, and not so much make a fool of themselves but are fearless that they’ve just left the house rather than stay at home and be afraid to not be ridiculed but they’re afraid of judgement”.
The space that these three people have created has not only inspired people, but allowed them to come and feel free of judgement, and not be scared to let loose an express themselves. On the nights of the event, you will see some outfits that some may call ‘outlandish’ or ‘bizarre’ but at BLUR they welcome this expression with open arms with no negativity or ill perception of others.
“It’s so heart-warming when you do get that feedback, I remember very early in the beginning, one of our regulars, who had struggled with body image and people’s perceptions of him for such a long time, came up to me and said ‘Thank you for tonight, for the first time I’ve been able to go out and just be myself, actually truly myself not a version of myself I’m putting on for someone’, that really inspires me to keep doing it and push boundaries in creating a space like that.”
There are big dreams ahead for BLUR, and they’re forecast to come true at the rate that this space is progressing. For each team member, working on different aspects of the show, there is a different way in which they hope to take BLUR or have it impact other people.
“I’ve had Melbourne friends tell me to take BLUR to Melbourne, but I know myself know that we aren’t quite there to move to bigger cities and to travel. I want to be able to all the main cities of Australia every month and see how it works out for all the different cities, just to test the waters and see how it goes.”
“But my sole purpose because I come from a small town, I’m the only gay person in town and drag queen, I’m just a rainbow wrecking ball! My purpose is to walk into an outback pub in full drag next to Joe Bloe who’s been there for fifty years and just have a normal conversation with them face to face.”
BLUR is revolutionary in the way it’s changing the perception of the gay nightlife in Brisbane. It is creating a path for progressive thinking and a space in which people can truly and wholly be themselves. Here at Maidenhair Press, we regularly attend the events and cannot hold these people highly enough in the work that they do. BLUR is a phenomenal space to have fun and blur your lines that need to be blurred.
All photos credit & provided by BLUR Thursdays.
Keep up to date with BLUR event’s through the Facebook page.