Drop Dead, Gorgeous photos by Olivia Cowley
Youth Week is held every May in Aotearoa, aimed at valuing, supporting, and affirming the diversity of young people in our society. Every year, we place our own spin on the events, continuing to celebrate our young people through fostering creativity.
The theme for Youth Week this year was “we are more than what you see,” and in celebration of that, the Zeal Wellington centre came alive on the Saturday night as we hosted an extravagant drag queen show for our rainbow-identifying young people.
We had four phenomenal drag queens come and put on a show in all their glitz and glamour, interspersed with with some mini games and a lip sync challenge for the audience to participate in. This event was almost entirely planned and executed by some superstar young people with a passion for honouring both the rainbow community and drag as a cornerstone of LGBT+ culture and creative activism.
Over Youth Week, we also hosted a games night competition, with four teams of two going head to head. The winners walked away with $100 vouchers and the pride of pwning their friends at Halo.
In the wider Zeal Wellington goings on, youth workers Tau and Felix (who has worked under Peter Jackson) are putting together a short film with the Boys’ Group, written by one of the rangatahi at Zeal.
“It’s such a great opportunity for our young men to get creative,” says Tau. “We’re aiming to have it finished by the end of the term. We’re looking forward to being able to share the short film with family and friends and celebrate the work of our young people.”
In Programmes, we have just started our second intake of six new barista students last week. The crew are currently celebrating the six students from Term 1 who have completed their placement and credits.
We are also excited to have a growing team in Zeal’s social enterprise cafe, Stories Espresso Bar, with Joe Shepheard now on board. He will be working with two of our students each week, and has effortlessly and generously become part of the wider wellington Whanau.