It's Gay Pride Month in New York, and some of the city's LGBTQ youth celebrated with a ceremony of their own.
Making food from scratch, giving good advice, putting a smile on someone's face, and preventing the spread of HIV — those are just a few of the reasons LGBTQ youth and youth-workers received heavy glass trophies at the Hetrick-Martin Institute's annual Dameon Awards ceremony.
The event provided an opportunity for young people to recognize their mentors and peers for their activism in New York City's LGBTQ youth community. The award is named after Dr. Dameon Martin, who founded the Institute with his partner in 1979, making it the oldest safe-space in the city for LGBTQ adolescents. Hetrick-Martin is also home to the Harvey Milk High School, which is run by New York City's Department of Education as an alternative school for students who have been harrassed or feel unsafe at other schools.
One of the grand marshalls of this year's Pride Parade was 18-year-old Constance McMillen, a Mississippi teen who filed a law suit against her school when she was banned from attending prom with her girlfriend. The Dameon Awards honored members of New York City's LGBTQ community who show similar courage and spirit.