What is the Rainbow Ball?

"The Rainbow Ball is an open and affirming chem-free prom evening that includes dancing, pictures, food, and friends. It is offered as an alternative prom for youth who may be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and their allies. All associated high school and college students, youth groups, and community members, including allied support groups, are invited to attend the casual, fun, safe, supervised, and friendly community celebration." (from UMM Webpage http://www.machias.edu/100percent)

This year's theme is Action Heroes, which Meghan Duff reminded me is a broader category than Super Heroes. The festivities are April 11th-13th at UMM. The Rainbow Ball started as an open and affirming prom; however, it has developed into Rainbow Ball Weekend with lots activities. Last year there was a Welcome Lunch on Friday, a Talent Show, and movie. On Saturday, there was a Scavenger Hunt, trips to the beach, a choice of a martial arts, Tahitian dance or Zumba class, a Keynote address by Wayne Maines, support groups, workshops on all sorts of topics, open swim, arts & craft activities, dinner, the actual Rainbow Ball prom, and then the after party.

Key Note Speaker Wayne Maines' article about Rainbow Ball in the Huffington Post: "It is held together with bubble gum, baling wire, lobster traps and Down East love." :)
  
This year there will also be workshops for community partners (counselors, teachers, coaches, social service providers) who are interested in learning how to better support LGBTQ youth and their families. The Rainbow Ball Community Workshops are on Saturday April 12th. These workshops are for adults who work with LGBTQIAA youth or/and adults who want to better support youth. Contact hours (6 hours) are available for teachers. CEU's are available for counselors and social workers. The workshops include the following sessions: Safe Space Training; Recognizing Courage; Learning from Transgender Children; In the Moment; Strategies for Identifying & Stopping LGBT Bullying in Schools; Working with Families to Support LGBT Youth; Anti-Bullying: Working with Colleagues & Administrators; and Strategies for Creating Safe, All-Inclusive Environments.
Want to register for the Rainbow Ball 2014? Click here
 
The heart of the Rainbow Ball and larger than life real action hero is Dr. Lois-Ann Kuntz.