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Dancing star comes out for Rainbow Youth

Mon 16 Feb 2009 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback View at NDHA

TV weather presenter Tamati Coffey has outed himself ahead of his Dancing With the Stars appearance - to help raise cash for Rainbow Youth. Dancing to help LGBT youth: Tamati Coffey The Breakfast TV weatherman and former What Now! presenter told the NZ Woman's Weekly that he came out to friends and family when he was 15, and believes the Rainbow Youth network deserves better recognition for the service it provides. Coffey lists youth suicide, depression, bullying and the prevalence of homophobia in schools as issues that matter to him, which Rainbow Youth aims to address with its peer-group networks, information, resources and advice. "They are out in the community, supporting young kids who have issues with their sexuality and don't know who to turn to," he told the magazine. "Many don't know what their families will make of their sexuality, don't know what their friends are going to say, or what their schools are going to think. Rainbow Youth listens, advises, and helps these kids and their families, too." The popular TV personality is the hot favourite to win the TVOne dancing show when it returns next month, according to a poll on TVNZ's website which shows he has received an impressive 40% of the votes so far. His success on the hit show could mean a massive cash windfall for Rainbow Youth - last year's series raised over $90,000 for Autism New Zealand, over $66,000 for The Royal New Zealand Plunket Society, and over $22,500 for the KidsCan charity. Coffey will be partnered with professional dancer Samantha Hitchcock. Openly-gay dancer Stefano, who has danced to victory twice in the last two years of the show, is back - this time partnered with actress and food critic Geraldine Brophy.    

Credit: Daily News Staff

First published: Monday, 16th February 2009 - 11:22pm

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