After the smashing success of last year’s inaugural Prom, The West Island LGBTQ Youth Centre recently hosted its second annual Queer Prom. It is an unfortunate reality that many LGBTQ students are still made to feel unwelcome to bring a same sex or trans* partner to their school proms, so we once again organized a fun dance party for LGBTQ youth ages 14-25 on Friday, May 8th. Last year’s event welcomed over 100 guests, and this year’s event was just as amazing—our theme this year was Stargazers. The youth worked diligently cutting out hundreds of silver stars, which were strung and suspended from the ceiling where they reflected the space-y laser lights projected by our talented resident DJ Adam. To keep the prom accessible we only charged 20 dollars a ticket, kept costs low, and were generously helped by many community partners. Guests arrived in all their glittery finery, greeted by a lovely buffet, punch, and heavily decorated church hall. One of the special aspects of our prom was a retro paper moon photo booth, where guests could have their photos taken by a talented photographer, and have a portrait with the illusion of sitting on the moon
The environment we created with this youth-oriented party is one of inclusive fun: it was a real treat for LGBTQ youth to be able to dance with their same-sex partners and not be made the centre of attention, or ridiculed, or whispered about. The heart of our party was to give our youth a chance to be who they really are: amazing kids who just happen to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans*, queer or questioning. The youth and volunteers alike enjoyed look forward to putting on dancing shoes and shaking, twirling and shimmying the night away!