If you haven't already seen this week's monstrous Pride guide, which runs down the many gay events happening this gay weekend all over the gay city in celebration of the oh-so-very gay Pride Week, let me save you some searching: A majority of the parties are for the 21-and-up crowd, as they take place in bars, bars, and yeah, more bars.

Of course, the big ones—the march on Capitol Hill Saturday, June 23, and QueerFest in Volunteer Park—as well as the official Pride Parade downtown and the big party at Seattle Center's Fisher Pavilion, are open to everyone, even you, who can't yet purchase beer (or maybe even cigarettes) legally. Aside from those, there are very few youth-oriented events. Like usual when that's the case, the Vera Project is coming to the rescue.

Immediately following the Pride Parade through downtown Sunday, June 24, the Vera Project hosts the Bend-It Festival, a "queer youth extravaganza." It's a hell of a party.

First, there's the live music—Your Heart Breaks, Tender Forever, Chris Riffle, and Cat Biell of Lucy Bland.

Tender Forever is Melanie Valera, a charming and warm solo artist inspired by other charming and warm singer/songwriters like Mirah and the Blow. Your Heart Breaks' current lineup features Karl Blau (a long-time staple of the northern Washington music scene); the music is really light and laid-back bedroom pop with cute song-stories about rock stars leaving to play shows in Eugene and such.

Besides the music, though, there's also going to be spoken word, dancing (duh), fashion shows (which sponsor VAIN will no doubt have a hand in), homemade merch for sale (think I Heart Rummage), visual art on display, workshops, raffles, free food, and tons of info booths and nice people.

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The whole thing is free, so you don't have to worry about buying tickets beforehand. More information about the day's events can be found at Bend-It's MySpace page: www.myspace.com/bend_it.

So don't worry about all the "drink specials" and "Billboard recording artists" you're missing up on Capitol Hill by being under 21. That shit's gay anyway.