‘PrideCon’ gives local LGBTQ+ teens space to feel at ease

KCRG-TV9's Mollie Swayne went to Pride Con today to learn how important the event was to LGBTQ+ youth in attendance.
Published: Apr. 2, 2022 at 11:20 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Some LGBTQ+ youth in Iowa City said they are grateful for an annual event like one that happened Saturday, amid a political atmosphere where they say they feel like they’re being targeted.

United Action for Youth held its eighth-annual PrideCon at Elizabeth Tate Alternative High School. Jamie Ellis, a youth advocate with UAY, said providing a space for teens to feel comfortable with their identities is important to her.

“I think that a lot of times adults give kids, preteens, teenagers—they give them a hard time for being the individual that they’re trying to create,” Ellis said.

According to the kids who attended, like Mia Shirley, PrideCon is one of those spaces.

“I feel more open to talk to people,” Shirley said. “Usually, I’m a bit more shy.”

Jack Alden, another attendee, said the safe space of PrideCon was especially important given the recent law signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds that banned transgender females from competing in girls’ sports.

“I’m also somewhat politically involved and hate, though, some of the laws being made,” Alden said. “Yeah. I love how my human rights are being respected. That’s sarcasm, as you can tell.”

The event took place in person this year, after moving to a virtual event in 2021.

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