“The heat of her breath fills the hollows of my bones with helium and lifts my ribcage just long enough to feel again.” That’s how Chris Hennessy, 19, of Oceanport, began her poem ‘Helium’ at Two River Pride, Red Bank’s first celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transexual youth at the Two River Theater Wednesday night.

“It’s difficult not to get emotional when pouring my rage and confusion and hope out to an audience of strangers, only to realize just by the looks on their faces that they feel that pain too, that none of us are alone anymore,” Hennessy said.

Her poetry was followed by two hours of performances from youth and musical groups, such as the Giving Voice Choir (above). (Photo by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)