The Queer Community comes together for a hang
On Friday, July 9, Victoria’s third annual Queer Bike Prom kicked off beside the Belfry Theatre. Bikers dawned colourful formal wear, gaudy-fun drag fits, and casual rainbow clothing. The bikes themselves were also decorated 一 bright streamers and balloons filled the streets of Fernwood with colour as the promenade rolled on.
Afterwards, participants could either hang out in the Vic High field, play games, participate in a raffle, do a scavenger hunt, or compete in an alley race around town where racers had to take a selfie as proof that they had been to each location.
In contrast to the first Queer Bike Prom in 2019, which had a venue, a DJ, balloon arch, and a photobooth, the 2021 was more lowkey in light of the pandemic. There was still the cheesy music expected of a prom, and everyone found their own fun either through the games and races provided, or by just enjoying a night out with friends.
Organizer Anna Jessop got things rolling in 2019, drawing inspiration from Calgary’s bike prom.
“We wanted to make sure that there was a good, sober, all-ages event for the rainbow crash at the end of Pride,” said Jessop. “The first time I hosted this [in 2019] I saw a bunch of queers in Victoria that I’d never seen before because none of them were going to the bars or drag shows late at night.”
Lee Ludvigson, another organizer, noted that queer events held in bars may also be in physically inaccessible spaces. Increasing physical accessibility is something that the Queer Bike Prom organizers are working on.
“Biking is one of those things that is not exactly always physically accessible to everyone as well but there’s ways to adapt around that too,” said Ludvigson. “Ideally we’d like to have some bikes to lend out, include people who can’t have bikes, or if there’s any places that have adaptive bikes, that would be willing to lend them out.”
The organizers of the event, Jessop, Ludvigson, and John Robertson are independent from other Pride organizations.
For Ludvigson, one of the reasons the event is important is that it gives the queer community another option to connect.
“I think there’s a lot of space in a community to have multiple places, and it’s really nice to have more than one,” said Ludvigson.
If anything, the Queer Bike Prom is a shining example of the queer community coming together to give each other another place to hang out and have fun.
You can follow the organizers and find news about the Queer Bike Prom on Instagram @queerbikepromvic.