Diversity creator Shawn Dern has returned to Maryborough’s Criterion Hotel to celebrate the ninth birthday of the event tonight.
Diversity creator Shawn Dern has returned to Maryborough’s Criterion Hotel to celebrate the ninth birthday of the event tonight. VALERIE HORTON

Diversity notches up nine years

DRAG queens from across Queensland are making their way to Maryborough today to help celebrate a milestone.

Fraser Coast Diversity, a monthly party held at Maryborough’s Criterion Hotel for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer residents, is turning nine tonight.

Shawn Dern, the former Maryborough resident who started the event, said celebrations would start in the front bar at 7pm with cheap drinks and then move into the club at 9pm for performances.

“It’s going to be a fantastic night,” Mr Dern, a retired drag queen, said.

In its nine years, Fraser Coast Diversity has had more than 60 drag queens perform in more than 215 shows.

Mr Dern put the success down to his friends Rod Watt and Lawrie Symons, aka Florence Fettuccine, who had been organising the event since 2006.

“Florence is a class entertainer and has won numerous awards. She was the natural choice to take over.”

Clay and Katie Clayton, owners of the Criterion Hotel, said they were thrilled to see Diversity turning nine.

“It certainly has grown in terms of numbers and performances,” Ms Clayton said.

“I think the best part is that when it started it used to be diversity only – now we get curious and straight people who come on down for a fantastic night to watch the shows and meet new people.”



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