Youth Diversity Prom put on by Okanagan Pride Society

Etcetera Kelowna organizing event for high school students Saturday at the pride centre on Water Street.

Etcetera Kelowna, a new youth initiative introduced by the Okanagan Pride Society, will host the First Youth Diversity Prom on Saturday, June 15, at the society’s centre, 1476 Water St., starting at 7 p.m.

Brad Therrien, Etcetera’s co-chair and vice president of the Okanagan Pride Society, said, “We are excited to be offering a safe space for youth to celebrate the momentous accomplishment of finishing school with like-minded peers.”

He added that the prom is not only for graduating students, but also for youth who want to celebrate making it through another year of school and for older youth who never had the chance to celebrate prom.

“We are thankful for the partnerships with the UBC Okanagan Pride Resource Centre, Clarance House Bed and Breakfast, and Dunnenzies Pizza Company,” Therrien said. “These organizations make it possible for us to host the event at little cost to the students.”

More info about the prom can be found at www.okanaganpride.com or contact etceterakelowna@gmail.com

The theme of the event this year is Fairytales. Participants attending are encouraged to dress up in theme and come celebrate the beginning of a new chapter in their lives, because Therrien says everyone deserves “a happily ever after”.

Etcetera Kelowna  officially was launched in September 2013 by Okanagan Pride Society to create a space where youth (ages 15-25) who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, or are Allies (LGBTQQA) are welcome to attend.

There will be weekly programs of chaperoned, peer-led support including: social activities, individual identity empowerment, healthy relationship discussions, the fostering of positive community involvement and numerous other areas of interest for our young people, with the added bonus of developing lifelong friendships along the way.

Therrien says using the ambiguous name “Etcetera Kelowna” helps to insure the anonymity of the program as it is important for Kelowna’s LGBTQQA youth to have a safe, confidential and accepting space to: discover who they are, to celebrate their diversity, to realize their immense worth, and to understand their incredible potential within our global community.

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