THE Queer Formal is returning for another year, giving young people a safe environment to wear what they want and to celebrate who they are. This year the LGBTI Angels are back as well.

Made up of older members of our community, the LGBTI Angels will be dancing and welcoming an estimated 500 party-goers aged 21 and under.

The Queer Formal is a response to many same-sex attracted or gender diverse students around the country being told that the clothes they want to wear to a formal are not acceptable, or that they’re not able to bring their partner.

Youth support network Minus18 is holding this year’s Queer Formal on Friday April 7 in St Kilda. The night will be filled with music, live performances, and young people having a fabulous time together.

“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.”

The event is wheelchair accessible, and the speeches will include an Auslan interpreter. Chill-out spaces including a special space dedicated to young people of colour will ensure a relaxed and supportive environment for everyone.

Tickets are now available online. People can also donate to allow a young person to attend the formal who wouldn’t otherwise be able to.

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