The Gay Nomads are a new community group created for like-minded people who enjoy caravanning and camping.
Playing on the term “grey nomads”— older and/or retired people who go caravanning and camping—the Gay Nomads are all ages, genders and hair colours. “Grey Nomads” are a significant target for Australian state tourism bodies and the Gay Nomads could prove just as valuable to regional tourism.
The group aims to become the first dedicated Gay and Lesbian Chapter group in the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia (CMCA).
Gay Nomads have both vintage and modern caravans, as well as motorhomes and camper trailers. Currently, group membership is predominantly from New South Wales and Victoria but the group aims to expand to a nationwide reach.
Co-founder for Gay Nomads Lynne Hocking said, “LGBTI+ people, often perceived by the wider community as inner-city urban creatures, are in fact very much drawn to the beauty and freedom of Australia’s great outdoors.”
Now being organised into an official community group, the concept was born from a small number of LGBTI+ people who took their vans and tents to regional gay and lesbian festivals.
“The events themselves soon became only a part of it for us,” said co-founder Glenn Watson. “You form wonderful bonds within the mini-communities that spring up in caravan parks and campsites during a festival. Everyone is relaxed and on holidays, they often have their pets with them—it’s just a great vibe around a camp fire making new friends.”
Gay Nomads made their inaugural appearance at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2015 Fair Day and plan to create a pop-up caravan park at the next Fair Day in February 2017 and plan to have a float in the 2017 parade. Currently, the inaugural Camp Stool Safari is planned for Wollongong.
NSW Gay Nomads Ambassador is drag performer Miranda Fair who first marched with the Gay Nomads in the 2015 ChillOut parade in Daylesford. She usually debuts a new event costume by emerging from her 1963 Capricorn caravan.
The group’s Facebook Page launched in early October and a dedicated website is on the way.