Youth LGBTI organisation Minus18 has launched a fundraising campaign for this year’s queer formal events.

The queer formal is a night for same-sex attracted and gender diverse young people, many of whom may be unable to attend their school formal with their partner or in the clothes they want to wear.

The fundraiser is asking people to donate so that young people can attend the formal free of charge.

This year Sydney will host its first queer formal, and events are also set to be held once again in Melbourne and Adelaide.

“The queer formal makes ongoing community change,” said the organisers from Minus18.

“For every queer formal we run, we produce education packs for schools all over Australia, giving them the tools they need to ensure their own school formals are LGBTIQ inclusive.

“Hopefully one day we won’t need to run the queer formal—but in the meantime, LGBTIQ youth need your help.”

The event has grown in recent years as a space for LGBTIQ students to be themselves and celebrate in an inclusive space.

“Last year’s event in Adelaide created a space for queer young people to wear what they want, be with the people they love, and feel safe and affirmed,” said Sam Lilit of Minus18.

“There are still high school formals where students can’t safely bring a same-gender partner, and where trans students are prevented from wearing the clothes that they’re comfortable in.

“At the [queer formal], no one has to worry about being shamed for what they’re wearing or who they’re with. In a room full of queer young people and their allies, everyone gets to feel included and supported.

“The formal is a chance for queer youth from all around to come together and meet each other.”

Minus18 is aiming to raise a total of $75,000 to fund this year’s events, and are already more than a third of the way to reaching their goal.

People can donate any amount online, with every $50 donation funding a ticket for one young person to attend.

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