Gay youth and LGBT students are often misrepresented or underrepresented at high school proms–sometimes deliberately by school staffs. Quite a few students got tired of that, and in one Minnesota district, LGBTQ students gathered to throw an alternative prom for those uncomfortable with the traditional one at their school.
It’s the second year in a row that gay youth and the LGBTQ community in St. Cloud have held their alternative prom, which they dubbed Masquerade. The best part? It’s free and open to all school districts, so any teen who wants to come pretty much can, and organizers are expecting around 100 attendees this year.
The Masquerade prom was organized by Bill and Troy Weber-Brown, who have a transgender son named Aaron. Last year, Aaron, who was born female, wore a dress to prom–but this year Aaron wants to rock it as the dude he feels he was supposed to be. That’d be potentially rough for him at a regular prom.
Troy made it clear that the prom isn’t to alienate students from a regular prom, nor to necessarily keep them from potential homophobia elsewhere. Instead, it’s a way to get LGBTQ students a place to be themselves and even receive counseling if they want it.
“Us offering this prom isn’t a message to the school district about safety,” Troy explained. “It’s us connecting the kids to the resources.”
And it’s not just resources they’re connecting with–it’s each other, because like any other prom, there’s going to be food, refreshments, royalty and a lot of booty shaking. Sounds like a quality alternative to us!
Do you think an alternative prom is a good idea for LGBTQ teens? Would you go to an alternative prom for transgender, queer, lesbian and gay youth if it was offered near you? Tell us in the comments!