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Runaway Girl marching for pride: Karen Walker celebrates RainbowYOUTH and rainbow communities

Shaneel Lal

This February, during Auckland Pride Festival, Karen Walker releases three pieces in celebration of rainbow communities and in support of Aotearoa’s RainbowYOUTH charity: an organic cotton T-shirt and sweatshirt and an iPhone case featuring Karen’s Runaway Girl marching for Pride. 

NZ $10 from every T-shirt and sweatshirt, and $5 from every iPhone case sold will be donated to RainbowYOUTH

Established in 1989, RainbowYOUTH provides support, information, resources and advocacy for queer, gender diverse, takatāpui and intersex youth, their friends, whānau and wider communities in order to ensure that Aotearoa New Zealand is a place where all young people can thrive. Its motto, gifted by the Tīwhanawhana Trust, is “Know who you are, be who you are. Whāia tō ake ngākaunui, i te pono, i te mārama.”

These styles have been photographed on Aucklanders the KW team greatly respects for their work in the LGBTQIA+ community and beyond, including:  

POOJA SUBRAMANIAN

Pooja Subramanian is the Communications & Engagement Manager at RainbowYOUTH.

She was born in India, raised in Oman, and grew up in East Auckland. Pooja has worked in the family violence sector prior to joining the RainbowYOUTH team, and is particularly interested in ways in which we can improve the health and wellbeing of queer, gender diverse & intersex young people in Aotearoa by educating the communities that support them.

SHANEEL LAL

Shaneel Lal is a vocal and respected activist, using their platform to educate, and share information and opinion. They were born in Fiji and migrated to New Zealand at the age of 14. They are of iTaukei and Girmitiya descent. Shaneeel is passionate about liberating queer people who live within the intersections of being BIPOC.

Shaneel co-founded the Conversion Therapy Action Group to work towards a ban on conversion therapy. They have also worked alongside the Ministry of Education to design a more inclusive education system. Shaneel was selected as the Global Youth Leader for Open Government Partnerships and sat on the Amnesty International Global Youth Taskforce.

MISS GEENA

Miss Geena is a transfeminine drag artist and non-binary musician from Tāmaki Makaurau.

She’s a showgirl at the legendary Caluzzi Cabaret and a regular performer in nightclubs and queer events across Aotearoa, spreading positivity, love and self-acceptance via storytelling through drag and pop music.

KERRY TRENT RANGINUI

Kerry Trent Ranginui is KW’s multi-talented head patternmaker who’s been part of KW sampling and design teams for 10 years. He’s a long-time volunteer for Ending HIV and The NZ AIDS Foundation, marching for both at events and working with them on key campaigns.

Kerry’s also known as Miss Kerry Berry, his drag persona, who’ll be performing at Auckland Pride this month. Working with Pride Whanganui in his hometown, his mission is to help create a community where small-town youth can feel safe and live in a space where they find inspiration and identity, and thrive.

The Collection:

Pride Marching Girl Organic Cotton T-Shirt $95: $10 to RainbowYOUTH
Pride Marching Girl Organic Cotton Sweatshirt $119: $10 to RainbowYOUTH
Pride Marching Girl iPhone Case NZ $70: $5 to RainbowYOUTH

Available from all Karen Walker stores, karenwalker.com and selected boutiques and department stores from 3 February 2021.

Find out more about RainbowYOUTH by visiting their website.

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