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The Coming Back Out Ball Movie

Presented by Brisbane Powerhouse and Brisbane Queer Film Festival

The Coming Back Out Ball Movie is an observational feature documentary that follows a group of older LGBTIQ+ people, who have been invited to attend a Ball celebrating their gender and sexual identity.

Faced with the complexities of ageing and isolation, these extraordinary people seize each day with determination and humour.

In a world that is rapidly changing for the LGBTIQ+ community around the world, we witness some of our cast experiencing acceptance and love for the very first time in their lives.

While this is a free event we kindly invite you to register your interest below. Capacity is strictly limited and patrons will be admitted on the day as a first in, first served basis.

Coming Back Out Ball Movie

More Info

Original Concept of The Coming Back Out Ball: 


Brisbane Queer Film Festival is a highlight of the Brisbane queer community calendar. Since the festivals’ first outing in the year 2000, at Brisbane Powerhouse, more than 60,000 film-lovers have immersed themselves in the BQFF experience. Becoming independent in 2017 under the direction of Shanon King and Justin Marshman, the festival celebrates its' 20th anniversary this year, which took place 7 - 17 March at New Farm Cinemas. Screening annually, there is still no better suburb to create this connection for the Brisbane queer community. Just as Brisbane Powerhouse did in the 90s/00s, New Farm Cinemas has a special history to Brisbane queer culture with the original site, the heritage listed The Village Twin, cited as a gay beat in 70s/80s Brisbane.

In 20 years we’ve come so far as many communities holding space for ourselves. It’s wonderful to see the rest of society slowly catching up - with more mainstream ways for us to see ourselves represented. With still so much more to be done, we are humbled to still be here and value the past 20 years of holding space that Brisbane Queer Film Festival has offered to the Brisbane queer community and hope you continue to see value in our visibility. We are here for the tender moments of reflection and representation.

The Coming Back Out Ball Movie follows artist Tristan Meecham as he navigates homophobia and ignorance in order to stage a spectacular Ball to celebrate the sexual and gender identity of older LGBTI+ people. Tristan works to create a night that acknowledges and celebrates LGBTI+ elders who, he says, paved the way for him – a young gay man – to be out and proud. Over the course of this documentary, nine key characters open their hearts with raw honesty, generously sharing their painful and secretive pasts, looking back fifty years or more to a world far less accepting of LGBTI+ people.

Many of our cast have experienced social isolation. The CBOB (Coming Back Out Ball) project gave them new confidence, reasons to re-connect and vital opportunities to be accepted and respected. This shift was subtle; a coming together of disparate groups, of communities whose common ground was the shared experience of isolation and discrimination. Our film listens to elderly Australians, mostly in their seventies and eighties, who are now living their authentic life, who want to speak honestly and be heard.

Tristan battles through the judgements and doubts from stakeholders and even some of the LGBTI+ elders he’s working with, to remain focused on creating the Ball. He is determined to take over Melbourne’s largest civic space, the magnificent Melbourne Town Hall, to honour ‘his elders’.


About the Venue

Common Questions

How do I get to Brisbane Powerhouse?
See our Getting Here page.

Is parking available?
There is limited free-of-charge, all-day, on-site car parking at Brisbane Powerhouse. If you are travelling by car, please arrive early to secure a park. Additional free parking is available in New Farm Park accessible via our link road, which is opened after 5pm on performance days.

What time should I arrive?
It's best to arrive at least 30-40 minutes before the show start time to find a car park, pick up your tickets at box office and make your way to the venue. The doors of the venue will open approximately 10-15 minutes prior to show time.

Where do I pick up my tickets?
Tickets will be available for pick up from Box Office 60 minutes prior to show time.

Is there food and drink available

Brisbane Powerhouse has two on-site restaurants. More information can be found on our Eat + Drink page.

See more common questions and learn everything you need to know about your visit to Brisbane Powerhouse on our FAQ page.

Get the most out of your visit

See an exhibition
See the world for free with awe-inspiring visual art from just about everywhere. Make sure you don’t miss anything – explore all of the foyers on the main and bottom floors. See what's on.

Explore New Farm Park
Brisbane Powerhouse is located next to the beautiful New Farm Park, one of Brisbane’s most popular and much loved recreational facilities. Pack a picnic, smell the roses in the garden, play a game of tennis, let the kids loose in the playground, enjoy a coffee, or just sit back and take in the sunshine.

Brisbane Powerhouse recommends The JohnsonTryp Hotel, and The Fantauzzo.