Center to Host Prom for Area Gay Youth

The Gay and Lesbian Community Center will hold its second prom for lesbian, gay and bisexual youths Saturday.

The event is a response to what organizers say is the exclusion of gays, lesbians and bisexuals from traditional school proms. Last year's prom drew about 100 youths, organizers say.

Manda Wiley, 17, one of the event's organizers, said the LesBiGay prom is an important alternative for local youth. "I felt that we needed to put on a prom for everyone who missed theirs," she said.

Manda said several of her friends were excluded from school proms because they wanted to take same-sex dates.

Jeremiah Johns, youth coordinator at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center in Ventura, said almost all area schools forbid same-sex dates.

But the LesBiGay prom does more than offer an alternative, Johns said. "It's really a chance to see how many gay, lesbian and bisexual youths there are in Ventura County," he said.

The second annual LesBiGay prom will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. at Temple Beth Torah on Foothill Road. Tickets are $15 for singles and $25 for couples.

All ages are welcome to the alcohol-free event. Call 653-1979 for more information.

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