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New HB queer youth group starts fundraising

Wed 22 Aug 2012 In: New Zealand Daily News

New Hawke’s Bay glbti youth support group GayOK! has launched a Pledge Me project, seeking crowd funding to get it up and running. ”In most cases coming out as queer is shunned in this region and in some cases it can become very dangerous,” one of GayOk!’s founders Lloyd Mason says. “Many youth have lost friends or their relationship with their family has become difficult,” he adds. “A lot of youth don't come out as they are scared of what could happen.” Mason says the objective is to have Queer Straight Alliances in all the major Napier and Hastings schools in the next year. “These QSA will also be linked in with GayOk so that Hawkes Bay has a strong network of support.” Through its Facebook page, Mason says GayOK! has already improved some members’ outlooks on life and created new friendships. A website is being built: “We envision becoming a hub which is more specialised for queer populous than social networks such as Facebook,” Mason says. “Once we get in a better position we will try to add a wider range of services to our site, such as a queer safe environments list, job search and much more. GayOk! ultimately wants to offer support through peer groups, role models and links to other organisations which can offer more specific support, such as sexual health help and counselling. “We have a vision of a safer and more openly diverse New Zealand, with the help of the great potential of technology,” Mason says. GayOK! has a Pledge Me project taking donations here    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Wednesday, 22nd August 2012 - 12:35pm

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