Creating Inclusivity, One Event at a Time: MILKLAB and Euphoria Social Join Forces

Get inspired by Euphoria Social's journey of resilience and find out how they're making a difference in the LGBTQIA+ community.
Creating Inclusivity, One Event at a Time: MILKLAB and Euphoria Social Join Forces
June 9, 2023

MILKLAB is all about colLABorating with the community and supporting causes that matter. That's why we've joined forces with the incredible folks at Euphoria Social—an inclusive organisation dedicated to championing the LGBTQIA+ community.

In a world where acceptance and inclusivity should be the norm, Euphoria Social's journey began with a personal story that struck a chord. The founders, a power couple named Emma and T, embarked on their wedding planning adventure a few years back, only to encounter countless roadblocks and rejection due to their same-sex union.

But instead of letting these setbacks bring them down, Emma and T decided to turn the tables. They channelled their passion, resilience, and love for their community into something extraordinary. And that's how Euphoria Social was born—a safe haven that celebrates diversity, promotes mental health, and brings everyone together under one fabulous roof.

We had the pleasure of sitting down with T to dive deep into the story behind Euphoria Social, their key initiatives, the impact they're making and their plans for the future!

1. Can you tell us about the origin of Euphoria Social and what inspired you to start?

Nearly 13 years ago, my incredible wife Emma and I began a journey of love and resilience. As our wedding day approached 5-6 years ago, we excitedly reached out to various organisations, function centres, and caterers to share our joy as a same-sex couple ready to tie the knot. Little did we know that what awaited us would be a flood of silence and disinterest. We're not talking about a handful of rejections, but hundreds of them.

During this disheartening experience, we started noticing a disconcerting trend within our own LGBTQIA+ community. The spaces that were meant to welcome us with open arms often became overshadowed by alcohol and drug-fueled events. We longed for an inclusive environment where everyone could feel safe and celebrated, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity.

But the challenges didn't end there. As we embarked on our fertility journey to bring our beautiful daughter into the world, we were shocked to encounter homophobia within our public health system. It became painfully clear that even after 13 years together, homophobia still lingered in Australia, affecting not only our mental health but also that of our beloved community.

It was in these moments of frustration and disappointment that a fire was ignited within me. I knew I had to do more. I had to create something that would shatter the barriers, unite our community, and provide a safe haven where support and acceptance reigned supreme. And that's how Euphoria Social was born.

Mental health became a focal point for us because we understood firsthand the toll that discrimination and prejudice could take on individuals' well-being. We wanted to build an organisation that placed mental health at the forefront, nurturing a space where people could find solace, connect with others, and share their journeys without fear or judgment.

The inspiration for Euphoria Social arose from our own love story, intertwined with the struggles and triumphs we faced together. It's driven by a burning desire to create a world where no one has to endure what we did. We want to be the change, bringing joy, acceptance, and unity to our LGBTQIA+ community.

2. What are some of the key initiatives and programs that Euphoria Social has undertaken to support the LGBTQIA+ community?

We believe that raising awareness and reducing stigma are key to fostering an inclusive society. That's why we use our platform to reach out to the wider community, igniting conversations that challenge preconceived notions and promote acceptance. We launched our website—a digital hub that serves as a beacon of inclusivity and provides valuable resources for our community. We created an inclusive directory, connecting individuals with LGBTQIA+-friendly services and businesses, ensuring they feel welcomed and supported.

What truly sets Euphoria Social apart is our events, which we've been running since Sept 2022. We believe that genuine connections and meaningful experiences can pave the way for lasting change and that's why we've organised a range of exciting and inclusive gatherings that go beyond the typical party scene.

3. How has Euphoria Social been able to collaborate with other organisations and businesses to further your mission?

One of our core principles is putting money back into our community and supporting brands that align with our values. Over the past 12 months, we have taken great pride in raising funds for remarkable organisations such as the Victorian Pride Centre, Minus18, and queerspace. By partnering with like-minded brands and businesses, we are able to make a clear statement that we are not alone in our fight for inclusivity and acceptance. Together, we pave the way for a brighter future, where every individual feels celebrated, accepted, and empowered.

4. Can you share any success stories or positive outcomes that have resulted from your work with the LGBTQIA+ community?

When it comes to measuring success, the true impact lies in the lives we touch and the stories of hope and transformation that emerge from our work with the community. On two separate occasions, individuals within our community approached us and revealed that they had been grappling with suicidal thoughts before attending our events. However, something extraordinary happened. Through the power of connection and the profound impact of our guest speakers' stories, they found a glimmer of hope and strength - They made the courageous decision to choose life, realising that they were not alone and that a supportive community stood beside them. These stories serve as a reminder of the incredible potential we have to save lives simply by creating spaces of inclusivity and understanding.

Beyond these deeply profound experiences, we consistently receive heartwarming feedback from attendees at our events. People express their genuine appreciation for the safe and inclusive environment we cultivate, where they can be themselves without fear of judgment or exclusion. It's moments like these that remind us why we do what we do – to provide a sanctuary where individuals can thrive, connect, and celebrate their authentic selves.

Emma and T (middle left to right) at the Victoria Pride Awards 2023, nominated for Outstanding Advocacy Awards 2022

5. What do you think are the most pressing issues facing the LGBTQIA+ community today, and how is Euphoria Social working to address them?

One of the key challenges we face is the underrepresentation of the LGBTQIA+ community in crucial areas such as the Australian Census. This lack of visibility hampers our ability to advocate for necessary resources and support. Mental health concerns within our community are alarmingly prevalent, and addressing this issue is of utmost importance to us.

We are actively working to secure funding and raising awareness about mental health disparities, we strive to bridge the gap and ensure that our community members receive the care they deserve. We also recognise the vital role of safe spaces in fostering a sense of belonging and well-being. Traditional clubbing environments may not cater to everyone's preferences or comfort levels, and that's why we provide alternative safe spaces where individuals can socialise, connect, and celebrate without the pressures commonly associated with nightlife. By creating inclusive and welcoming environments beyond the club scene, we hope to offer a sense of community and belonging to those who may not resonate with traditional settings.

6. How has MILKLAB's sponsorship supported Euphoria Social's mission, and what impact has it had on your work?

MILKLAB's sponsorship has been vital to our success thus far. It has allowed us to host inclusive events, ensuring that the talented artists who perform at our gatherings are compensated for their incredible work. Thanks to MILKLAB, we can continue planning more events and initiatives. Your generosity has given us validation, hope, and encouragement, and have played an integral role in helping us make a meaningful impact!

7. Can you speak to any upcoming projects or initiatives that Euphoria Social has planned for Pride Month and beyond?

Euphoria Social has exciting projects and initiatives in the works. We're hosting a Pride celebration at the Wolfhound in Brunswick, a venue with multiple rooms and an outdoor space to accommodate everyone.

We’vealso recently launched an initiative to stop hate - BATHE is an initiative byEuphoria Social to raise awareness to prevent, cyberbullying, hate anddiscrimination.  We are using our websiteand online platform, we are asking people to take a pledge online, to stand upand speak out – Check it out here.‍

Additionally, we have an initiative in development for later this year, and we can't wait to share the details!

8. What advice would you give to individuals and businesses who want to support the LGBTQIA+ community and create a more inclusive society?

Individuals and business can take the following these steps to make a difference and create a more inclusive environment for all:

  • Have a clear and inclusive employment policy
  • Learn about pronouns and inclusive languages
  • Align with LGBTQIA+ initiative or organisation
  • Ensure your hiring policies are inclusive and allow our community to feel safe to apply for roles within your business
  • Provide mental health support for your employees
  • Be an Ally
  • Participate in the days that our community celebrate
  • Ensure the rights and policies for maternity leave are inclusive for LGBTQIA+ people

MILKLAB featured colLABorator

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