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Kids and families celebrate during LGBT party
Yuba-Sutter-Colusa chapter of Gotbliss:
Austin Ward, an off-duty zombie soldier, ate the best pizza rolls and drank the best strawberry-kiwi poison he said he'd ever had.
The 9-year-old Olivehurst resident took part in Sunday's first-ever Gotbliss Halloween Ball with his brother and parents.
"People see California as Hollywood and San Francisco," said his mother, Tabitha Frost, 29. "They don't realize there's a lot of intolerance in some areas."
Yuba-Sutter, she said, is one such place.
Frost brought her family to the event at Hillcrest Plaza in Yuba City to help support the area's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, as represented by Gotbliss.
"I'm totally in support of tolerance and understanding." The LGBT community's public, straight-friendly coming-out party "is a little overdue," Frost said.
Spooky fog, twinkly dance-floor lights and kid-friendly monster games lined the perimeter of the ballroom, which later in the evening would host a teen night and an adult Halloween party.
Gotbliss, which formed a year ago, seeks to garner support for and increase awareness of issues of importance to the LGBT community in Yuba-Sutter. The group has applied for nonprofit status.
Sunday's fundraiser was the group's first event geared toward straight family and friends.
"I work with kids, and I want them to know it's OK to be who you are," said Janeth Mejia, 24, of Marysville. "Don't let people judge you. It's very important."
Mejia brought her 2-year-old daughter, Brianna Martinez, to the costume party, and watched as the wide-eyed toddler, dressed as Little Red Riding Hood, took to the dance floor.
"She loves to dance, and she loves the lights and the food here," Mejia said.
At just 19 months, Erin Eubanks might have been the youngest party guest at Sunday's soiree. But she was entirely open to the spookier aspects of the event.
"She's not scared at all of the dead lady in the coffin," said her mom, Jennifer Eubanks, who marveled when her daughter felt compelled to touch the hand of the fake corpse.
"She's not sure about the disco lights though," she said, as Erin made a disapproving face and headed for her mother's arms.
CONTACT Nancy Pasternack at npasternack@ appealdemocrat.com or 749-4781. Find her on Facebook at /ADnpasternack or on Twitter at @ADnpasternack.