A star-studded crowd came together at Hilton Sydney for the first Rainbow Formal gala event to launch Hilton’s nationwide partnership with LGBTQIA+ charity organisation, Minus18, backed by queer icon and advocate, actor, model and DJ, Ruby Rose during Sydney’s WorldPride.
Hilton’s support will see an expanded footprint for Minus18’s Queer Formals program, enabling it to roll out in new cities and regional areas nationally from 2024, with the hope of providing LGBTQIA+ youth nationwide the opportunity to experience their school formal as their authentic selves.
Guests enjoyed a headline performance by singer Delta Goodrem, entertainment from TV presenter Hamish Macdonald and a DJ set from Ruby Rose herself.
“It means the world to me to be back in Australia to help launch Hilton and Minus18’s partnership. Minus18 gave me purpose and a sense of community when I came out as a young teenager. You have to remember, back then dial up internet still took 12 minutes to load, unlike today where there are a plethora of online communities. The only community that I had was Minus18, that I was lucky enough to stumble across in a free magazine. Because of the experience they provided me and the safety and freedom to be myself, I am now in the fortunate position to give back.” said Ruby Rose.
“Hilton is a global brand and it’s amazing that they provide a welcoming, inclusive and safe place for the LGBTQIA+ community all over the world. I’m excited for the far-reaching impact of this partnership with Minus18 and Hilton to make a difference to thousands of young people’s lives across the country by bringing the Queer Formal programs to regional and rural communities all over the country,” said Ruby Rose.
“The Rainbow Formal was an opportunity for us to stand boldly together and strengthen our bonds as a community, proudly promoting a sense of belonging and acceptance for all and I am thrilled to say we achieved just that tonight. A big thank you to everyone who came along to help us launch this wonderful partnership and raise funds for a great cause,” said Paul Hutton, area vice president and head of Australasia at Hilton. “The funds raised this evening will be used to scale Minus18’s Queer Formals program via our hotel network. It is our shared ambition that one day every young person in Australia will have the access to celebrate their formal as their true self and with pride.We are committed to creating a welcoming environment for everyone at Hilton.”
“We were blown away by the support shown to Minus18 at this evening’s Rainbow Formal gala and want to extend a genuine and heartfelt thank you to every guest. With Hilton and Ruby Rose behind us, our youth programs for queer young people will have considerably more scale and reach, helping thousands more LGBTQIA+ young people gain access to inclusive spaces – like our Queer Formals,” said Adrian Murdoch, strategic relationships lead at Minus18. “ Twoin three LGBTQIA+ youths in Australia still today experiencing abuse for who they are – creating inclusive spaces has never been more important.”
Hilton, Ruby Rose and Minus18 are calling on the Australian public to support LGBTQIA+ teens’ right to inclusive spaces, including Queer Formals, by donating to Minus18. For more information, visit asiapac.hilton.com/standwithpride.