Transgender spectacular opens eyes to diversity

Gender Euphoria
The performers take a bow at the end of Gender Euphoria at the Seymour Centre. Photo: Jamie James.

The struggles of dealing with discrimination over sexual orientation, gender identity and just celebrating yourself are weaved throughout a spectacular new theatre production.

Gender Euphoria is a superb mix of song, dance and storytelling about diversity of colours, genders, transformation, sexuality and identity.

The issues it explores are meant to open our minds to the possibilities of being trans and cover the vulnerabilities, social oppression, queer rights, social exclusion, sense of freedom, sense of belonging in your own body, diversity and acceptance.

As colourful, LED lights of kaleidoscopic prisms filled the stage of the Seymour Centre through a set of 3D glasses, a glamorous-looking queen walked through the pink and silvery curtains; draped in a black ethereal, glittery dress with pastel-coloured florals in her hair.

Mama Alto sets the night off with storytelling and shares with the audience about an automated phone call registration for election.

It was a requirement to register the gender. The suggestions were: press one for male, two for female but her choice was not listed so she pressed six.

It registered her choice of gender as invalid and asked that she try again. She pressed six and again it registered as invalid. The crowd erupts with laughter.

Mama Alto in Gender Euphoria. Source: Photography by Jamie James

Mama Alto is known as a jazz singer, cabaret artiste and gender transcendent diva. A transgender, queer person talented with storytelling.

Gender Euphoria, also had sign language translators as the performers shared their stories.

After the storytelling, Mama Alto belted out a soulful number with her transcending voice.

Next up Bailee Rose lip-synced to the song I’m Every Woman and danced in a low plunging, glittery red dress to every beat like Beyoncé.

Close to the end of her number, she stripped down to black suspenders and g-string; giving her well-rounded bottom a shake at the audience as they cheered on and she waved a red fan about like a burlesque dancer.

Quinn Eades shared a ‘provoking poetic reckoning’ as he carried Mahla Bird to a rope dangling down from the ceiling. Mahla hoisted themselves onto the rope and gracefully performed an aerial dance like floating on air.

Harvey Zeilinski, Fury, Quinn Eades and Nikki Viveca shared their inner struggles and frustrations of acceptance. At the end of her story, Nikki teases the crowd with a magic trick and says, “Ooh look! I’m not disappearing!” which clearly states loud and clear, they are not going anywhere.

Nevo Zisin made a dramatic entrance stating, “I am a gender whisperer!” as they performed their skit.

A performing arts comedian from the UK, Krishna Istha then left the audience in fits of laughter about his experience being a performing arts comedian.

The exquisite dancer Amao Leota Lu from Samoa, danced in a bright, florescent costume. Mx Munro performed Christina Aguilera’s, Beautiful in a long silvery dress with a haunting, alluring voice.

The issues in Gender Euphoria fall into LGBTQI rights and equality:

  • 76 countries criminalise sexual acts between adults of the same sex
  • In 10 countries the maximum sentence for sexual acts between same sex adults is the death penalty
  • 23 European countries require transgender people to be sterilised before their gender is legally recognised
  • In more than 70 countries, it’s illegal to be openly gay. Source: Amnesty

Gender euphoria at the Seymour centre was vibrant and full of exuberant colours. It was almost like Mamma Mia meets Priscilla Queen of the Desert and yet unique.