Qld's first LGBTI formal to be held on Coast
IN AN uncertain time for the LGBTI community, an inclusive event on the Sunshine Coast is aiming to give "rainbow" teens something to look forward to.
The Sunshine Coast Pride Network has proudly announced the first LGBTI Rainbow Formal in Queensland to be held at the University of the Sunshine Coast in October.
Year 10 student Samuel Bouzanquet is helping organise the event and said it was exciting to have a school based event where LGBTI youth could come together and be themselves.
"I'm really happy that this is going through because we need it," he said.
"It's not a rally for our rights, it's not a mourning for the Orlando shooting, it's just fun."
His mother Amanda said adding to the conversation about a "being rainbow" teenager and having such events helped "kids lead a more authentic life".
"For us in country areas the struggle is finding those like yourself and being able to connect to each other in ways straight kids get to all the time," she said.
"The school formal for rainbow adolescents could be a lonely occasion so the rainbow formal is sending confirmation that we support and love them unconditionally."
The event is open to students from Year 10 to 12, allies and friends of the LGBTI community with attendees urged to dress up in whatever makes them feel "fabulous".
Similar events have been held in Melbourne with resounding success.
Fiona Anderson, formal organiser and co-chair of the Sunshine Coast Pride Network, said she hoped schools would see the benefits of the event and "absorb" the idea into planning formals in the future.
"This idea is not to create exclusivity and take students away," she said.
"We want schools to see that there are many ways to encourage all students to be a part of their end of year celebrations, and that no one should be made to feel excluded, or uncomfortable."
Mr Bouzanquet said he hoped the event was successful and could be replicated in years to come.
"The only regular sort of thing (LGBTI event) is the rallies but they're for our rights, so not exactly a time to be a joyous and cheerful," he said.
The event will take place in the function room at the Innovation Centre at USC on Saturday, October 14 from 5.30pm.
Tickets can be purchased from Eventbrite by searching Sunshine Coast Rainbow Formal.