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Friday 30 June 2017

Community celebrates first Wgtn Pride youth ball

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By Daily News staff - 20th March 2017

Wellington Pride’s first youth ball saw around 200 young people “dance their rainbow socks off” on Saturday night.

Photo: Drag artists with youth ball organisers
The event, organised by youth leader Bella Simpson, saw young people come from as far as Otaki and the Wairarapa to attend.

The ‘Fantasy Forest’ ball took place at the Chaffers Function Centre next to Waitangi Park, the site for Saturday’s Out in the Park celebrations.

Simpson worked with a team of young people on the event and says "It's so important for young people to know there identity is valid and recognised, hosting events like this shows them they have a space in our community to be whoever they want to with out judgement and prejudice.”

Ball-goers were welcomed by a group of drag artists and were dressed to impress, with rainbow flags as capes, unicorn headpieces and flowers among the costumes standing out at the door.

Jac Lynch, who organised a support group of adults, said in a statement provided by organisers that "It's hard for some young people to enjoy their own school balls because of discrimination and ignorance. Tonight, they've been visible in how they want to be.”

The 20-strong volunteer group included youth workers, school counsellors, teachers and paramedics who provided security for the youth and gave rides home to those who needed them.

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