A massive Queer Prom took place in Brighton to let members of the LGBT community have another shot at prom — an integral part of teenage life that they might have missed for fear of alienation.
Partners Vicki Cook and Jules Haydon Guaitamacchi know that attending proms can be daunting for students who don’t identify themselves as heterosexuals. There are some who might want to wear pressed tuxes but are expected to be clad in fancy dresses.
Their desire to give them the best prom of their lives, regardless of age, is the reason why Queer Prom came to fruition. Cook told BBC News that after talking to many members of the LGBT community, she found out that the majority failed to achieve a positive prom experience. Some decided not to go because they felt like they must adhere to a “very rigid formula.”
“Everyone is expected to be heterosexual and to dress in alignment with their gender assigned at birth. It can be very difficult and very isolating when trying to break the mold there. It can be very scary to go against the norm.”
Queer Prom guest Sebastian Causton told the Independent that his own prom left him feeling “horrendously awkward.” He called the new prom concept as “an absolute dream,” as it allowed him to “go as me, in my true gender.”
Organizers similarly put up a photo booth that churned out classic prom prints. There were 150 guests who came dressed to the nines and danced to staple prom songs.
The whole night wasn’t solely for fun; Queer Prom’s proceeds went to two causes: MindOut and Allsorts Youth Project. The first is a non-profit group that works with the government to ensure the inclusion of LGBT communities in mental health programs. Allsorts, on the other hand, serves as a support system for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals under 26.
Cook described the night as “magical.”
“Everyone was clearly dressed how they would have wanted to back at their school prom and they looked amazing. The whole night was a dream and for so many of us, we finally had the prom we deserved.”
Their vision is to have Queer Prom in Brighton twice a year. Cook also plans to bring the event to other places such as London, Manchester, and Bristol.