Another Youth Diversity Prom has come and gone and it's as if I have another years worth of energy saved up. I have been lucky enough the past few years to host this dance at the Knitting Factory in downtown Boise for Boise Pride Fest and each year--I take so much away from it.

The annual "prom" is for kids in our community ages 14-18 who want to be a part of Boise Pride by coming out, having a great time, dancing the night away, and being themselves--all in a judgement-free zone. What. A. Concept... Right?

Those of us who have gone through it by now all know: middle school and high school can be some of the toughest years of your life as you work to find yourself and be yourself among hundreds of others who are doing the same. You're making decisions that pave your future and there's just so much peer pressure anymore. You don't need to be a member of the LGBTQ community to come out to this dance--allies are welcome too--everyone is.

This year, the Youth Diversity Prom was headlined by Gia Gunn, a trans-girl who was made famous on RuPaul's Drag Race. She absolutely killed it on the stage and shared some really encouraging words with the crowd.

It was the attendees, though, that energized me. We're living in a time where, I believe, love and acceptance aren't exemplified by some of the world's biggest voices. You turn on the news and see divisiveness coming out of positions of power on both Federal and State levels. All for what? Last night, I got to spend a few hours with kids from right here in the Treasure Valley that exemplified more GOOD that some of our very own leaders and THAT gives me hope. There were 18-year-olds that can VOTE. There were hundreds more are WAITING to be able to make their voice heard with votes of their own. Together, they made up a body of youth that one day will be decision makers in our community and beyond and for that, I'm thankful.

If you were in attendance at the Youth Diversity Prom last night--THANK YOU for welcoming me, the volunteers, everyone around you, and most importantly for being yourselves.

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