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Spencer Pride

Our IRIS Youth Empowerment Director, Joy, reflects on the formation of the group

  • by
Joy Hellman (she/her/hers)
The Iris youth group began in the spring of 2017 at the request of a couple of parents in our PFLAG group (parents/friends/allies support group). We began to meet with a small group of teens while the PFLAG group met with the parents. In those early meetings we worked to establish group norms, engaged in a few activities, and created a safe space for teens to meet and talk. Our early activities included participating in the Spencer Pride Festival with a face painting booth and helping with the October LGBT History Month informational boards to share with over 20 libraries across southwestern Indiana.
As our group began to grow, we enjoyed outings such as hayrides, cookouts at the local park, and a trip to the movies to see “Love Simon.” We hosted a prom in the spring of 2019. It was held at Stable Studios with over 80 attendees from 12 communities. We had a DJ, Drag Queens, and a Drag King for entertainment. It was a great success.
Unfortunately, as we began to plan for a prom the next year, COVID hit. After that, we had virtual meetings for awhile, and most of our youth graduated out.
We are now rebuilding the group and meeting in person at the commUnity center on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month from 5 to 6 pm. The group is open to LGBTQIA+ youth and allies from ages 13-19. We would love for you to join us! For more information, contact