Spring is finally here, and you know what that means. Flowers, warmer weather and a whole bunch of summer plans being made.
For some, this spring is especially exciting because it means graduation is just around the river bend — a rite of passage for any college student who is ready and able to get into that magical and mysterious realm we often call the “real world.”
But, just like back in high school, before graduation there was another rite of passage on our minds: prom.
I know not everyone went to prom, either because they thought it was stupid, didn’t have a date, it cost too much … the list goes on and on. However, I can say that I was fortunate enough to go twice and I can say that my experience, although not worthy of an ’80s movie directed by John Hughes, was a memorable and enjoyable event.
I bought a shamefully expensive (but gorgeous) gown, spent far too much time on my hair and had my tux-wearing athlete boyfriend on my arm. I was just like every white, straight female heroin in all of those teenage coming-of-age movies stepping into her own at the high school prom.
But, what about people who didn’t have this stereotypical prom experience like I did? What about people who identify as something other than heterosexual? Movies and cultural depictions of prom often leave them out of this adolescent event rooted in heteronormative tradition.
Those in the GLBTQQA community here at CSU are getting an opportunity to have another prom and live out prom night the way it should be, as an inclusive and safe event for everyone, no matter how they identify.
Queer Prom is a dance put on by Ram Events and sponsored by the GLBTQQA Resource Center. The theme of this years dance is “Over the Rainbow”, which the event committee voted on together.
Haley Wilson, the Ram Events lead programmer for Queer Prom, said this is the first time Ram Events has hosted the event, but that it’s an event she’s very proud of and excited about.
“This is a really original idea. It’s a place where the (GLBTQQA) community can gather and re-imagine prom as inclusive and less heteronormative,” she said. “Queer Prom is an event where people can be proud of being out and comfortable with other people knowing.”
Although Queer prom is organized by Ram Events and the GLBTQQA Resource Center together, GLBTQQA is taking steps to provide an option so that no one has to overspend on an outfit for this one-time occasion — a clothing drive.
“All of our staff are involved in planning and can help anyone get more information on the clothing drive,” said Ashley Brown, a student assistant at the resource center, in an email to the Collegian.
Evan Decker, a social work intern at the GLBTQQA Resource Center, is coordinating the clothing drive and expresses that anyone and everyone is welcome and encouraged to donate articles of gently used formal wear.
“The purpose of the clothing drive event is to provide formal articles of clothing to anyone who identifies within the LGBTQ+ community so that they can acquire these clothes in a safe, supportive and welcoming environment,” Decker said. “To my knowledge, there have not been any events like this in the past at the Resource Center. However, there are many communities, specifically the transgender community, where clothing donation/exchange events have occurred. These events are often held due to the high rate of discrimination and prejudice that trans and gender non-conforming individuals face in society when trying to shop for clothing. While finding clothing that affirms one’s gender identity/expression can be hard for any individual within the LGBTQ+ community this is especially prominent among the transgender, gender queer, and gender non-conforming communities.”
“Over the Rainbow” will take place in the Lory Student Center Ballroom Friday from 7-10 p.m. Tickets to the event are free and can be reserved at the LSC Box Office or at csutix.com.
Collegian A&E Writer Erica Grasmick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @E_Graz_.