RECORD ATTENDANCE AT 18th ANNUAL LGBT PROM
On June 27th, LGBT and Allied Youth had an evening of dancing and fellowship as the LGBT Network held its “Fairy Tale” themed 18th Annual LGBT Prom at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, NY. Over 300 youth flooded the dance floor in their “Fairy Tale” attire for the annual rite of passage and barely took their seats other than to have a quick bite to eat.
Ruby Gruber, 17 and her girlfriend, Gianna Macias, 17, of Centereach, coordinated costumes for the theme, with Macias as a barefoot evil queen in a black gown and Gruber as her poison apple, in a red shirt and black vest. “I always feel more comfortable around my own kind of people,” Gruber said. “Like kissing in public, people might give you glares. Here, it’s just another couple kissing. That’s how the rest of the world should be.”
The magical evening included dancing and dining, mocktail hour, buffet dinner, dessert bar, and the crowning of this year’s Rainbow Court, a more inclusive adaptation of the traditional Prom King & Queen. Youth and organizers echoed the sentiment that the LGBT Network’s LGBT prom is about more than just finding a safe space. In a political era where advocates say they worry LGBT rights are at risk and students rally for school safety, prom is a place to find their voice.
The record turn out was thanks in part to today’s political climate, explains David Kilmnick, President & CEO of the LGBT Network. “In this climate, things can happen that you’d think would make kids retreat, but they’re starting to realize that if they don’t get involved, if they’re not part of the change, they may retreat their entire lives… The eagerness to get more involved in our local communities, that’s resulted in more kids coming out. That’s part of them developing a larger community that’s more united.”