Gay teens get their own Valentine’s Day dance; now they just need a photographer and a florist

Posted on 07 Feb 2011 at 5:27pm

LGBTQ youth in North Texas are getting their very own Valentine’s Day dance this year.

Chapters of the Gay Straight Alliance from five high schools in Dallas and Collin counties are coming together for the first-ever “Love Conquers All Ball,” hosted by LULAC #4871 and Youth First Texas.

The event will be from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12 at Youth First Texas, and a $2 requested donation at the door will benefit the Trevor Project.

Jesse Garcia, president of LULAC #4871, said all teens ages 14-18 are invited regardless of whether they’re members of GSAs — and regardless of whether they have dates.

Garcia also said organizers are looking for a photographer to take digital images of the couples, as well as a florist who can donate 50 to 60 flowers. Those interested in providing photography or flowers should e-mail jessegarciadallas@gmail.com.

A full press release is after the jump.

Gay Teens get their own dance this Valentine’s
LULAC Rainbow Council partners with Youth First Texas to host ‘Love Conquers All Ball’

Dallas, Texas – This year’s Valentine season will be an inclusive one in North Texas. While high school student councils are busy planning their dances, Gay Straight Alliances in Dallas and Collin County are coming together for the first-ever “Love Conquers All Ball,” being hosted by LULAC 4871 – The Dallas Rainbow Council and Youth First Texas on Saturday, Feb. 12, 7 to 11 p.m.

“Youth First Texas is delighted to partner with local high school Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs) to provide LGBTQ students and their allies with a safe social outlet free of any prejudice or harassment,” said Sam Wilkes, director of development and administration at Youth First Texas. “The dance also serves as a great way to introduce youth from all over the metroplex to the services the Youth First Texas offers.”

GSA students, Youth First Texas members and LGBTQ teens, ages 14 to 18, are invited. Chaperones will check I.D. at the door. A $2 donation will be requested. Donations will go toward The Trevor Project, the leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among LGBTQ youth.

North Texas has GSA chapters at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts , Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School , Woodrow Wilson High School, North Dallas High School and Plano East High School.

The idea for a Valentine’s dance came up when Jesse Garcia of LULAC Rainbow Council gave a leadership speech to the Woodrow Wilson High School’s GSA.  The GSA leader on that campus, Luis Veloz, wanted his membership to attend a dance where gay teens could be themselves.

“I am a firm believer that love is the strongest power we as the LGBT community have,” said Veloz, who is a sophomore at Wilson HS. “I wanted to give our youth the chance to experience what a teenage love truly encompasses, and what better way to do that than by a Valentine’s Dance?”

LULAC Rainbow Council members have offered to chaperone and help decorate Youth First Texas’ hall. LULAC members will also provide food and beverages for the event.

“We want the night to feel like any dance being held in a high school gym,” said Garcia, president of LULAC 4871. “We will have photos taken of couples, provide a nice setting so they can eat and give them a safe-place to express themselves. We want these kids to have the dance that many of us wanted back in the day,” said Garcia.

Garcia has already gotten support from a few community leaders who were active last fall during the teen suicide epidemic to help out with the dance.

“It is important that we remain involved. A lot of us in the community spoke out last fall in support of our LGBT youth during the suicide crisis,” said Garcia. “Unfortunately, kids are still taking their lives. Our youth still need our support with positive reinforcement. We need to help out Youth First Texas.”

Garcia is in search of a florist willing to donate carnations or roses for couples and a photographer to take digital images of couples. To volunteer, donate or for more information, contact Garcia at jessegarciadallas@gmail.com  or Wilkes at sam.wilkes@youthfirsttexas.org.

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