THE sale of Hobart entertainment venue Flamingos has added to unease in the city’s LGBTQIA+ community amid stress brought on by COVID-19 restrictions. Hannah Vermeulen has performed as a contract worker at Flamingos Dance Bar as a “very mouthy, but very funny” drag queen under the name Trey L’Trash. She said venue closures during the coronavirus pandemic threatened employment and places LGBTQIA+ people could gather in public. “In drag I feel unstoppable, it transforms me into someone else and it gives me confidence,” she said. “All of my evening gigs and festivals have been cancelled which has been really, really tough. “My drag work has been really affected as a lot of my work is performing and choreography which is about getting people up and dancing.” Ms Vermeulen said many of her friends in the LGBTQIA+ community had missed dancing and watching live performances more than they missed going out to drink. “That for them is a form of meditation and great release,” she said. The performer said Flamingos was the only venue in Tasmania dedicated to the queer community. But the recent sale of the 201 Liverpool St building by Devine Property has raised questions over whether Flamingos will continue operating under new land owners.

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