SEATTLE - It s prom season in Western Washington and the City of Seattle wanted to make sure teens who didn t feel comfortable at traditional dances would have a way to celebrate.

The event was called the Purple Prom and the color was all over the Miller Community Center in Seattle s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

The Saturday night dance wasn t about a color scheme,instead it wasabout creating a feeling.

It's a way to engage our youth in a way they can come together and celebrate who they are and who they represent, said Recreation Director Sue Goodwin, who helped plan the event.

The Purple Prom is one of several programs the city is sponsoring in their efforts to reach out to lesbian, gay and transgender teens.

When I first got involved in youth programming and learned 100 youth kill themselves in Washington state every year, I was horrified, said Parks employee RandyWiger.

Wigersaid the number includes gay and straight teens, but the suicide rate is higher among teens who identify as LGBTQ.

We try to help them feel safe to talk about struggles they're going through and just have open arms and an open heart for those folks coming through our doors, Goodwin explained.

It's the first year, and hopefully not the last.The city is already planning outreach events for other teens in theLGBTQ community.
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