12 December 2021
What better way to bid 2021 goodbye than a youth festival on a summery Friday afternoon where young people can celebrate their authentic selves? That’s exactly what we did with the sixth annual LGBTQIA+ & Allies Prom!
Usually, the Prom is an opportunity for young people to experience a formal style event with a sit-down dinner and dance floor, drag performances, awards for incredible young people and other activities like a photo booth, face painting and a chill-out space. Unfortunately, we could not deliver this event in its usual format due to funding and COVID-19 restrictions. However, after consulting with 27 young LGBTQIA+ young people across Canberra, A Gender Agenda and the Bit Bent group at Capital Region Community Services ACT, it was clear that the best alternative would be an outdoor event with new activities and opportunities.
From that came the LGBTQIA+ & Allies Prom in the Park! This was a festival-style event with six youth-led market stalls, two young bands playing live music, a free clothes swap, face painting and an array of arts and craft activities, including embroidery kits, punch needle kits, sparkle gem art, plastic string craft, colouring-in, large-scale communal paintings and lawn games.
Other local LGBTQIA+ and youth services in Canberra were present to advertise their services and support the participants on the day, including Meridian, A Gender Agenda and the Y.Engage Northside Community Services Youth Engagement Team.
The event was a huge success, with at least 180 young people involved in or attending the Prom! The feedback from attendees was so encouraging that we plan to hold a similar event next year!
A huge thank you to everyone involved in making this event possible, including the six young people who hosted market stalls (Garden Party Earrings, Leah Pearson Art, Where the Clay at. Soy Flatty, Birdie and Terrestrial Snail), TV Casualty and Sasha Tyler for playing live music, Messengers Art Program for donating easels, and The Junction for providing advice on the clothes swap.
We wish you all a safe and enjoyable holiday break, and we look forward to seeing you at our School Holiday Program in January 2022.
Tags: Canberra Community, community, young people, youth engagement, YWCA Canberra team