LGBTQ+ community gets a second chance at prom
For some high school students, prom wasn’t all it was hyped up to be. Lucky for some people, there’s an event on Friday, March 2, that’s giving the LGBTQ+ people a second chance.
Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Sexual and Gender Advocacy group (MUN SAGA) is hosting its annual Queer Prom 9 p.m. Friday. The event will be open to people ages 19+ and will be held at MUN’s Breezeway Bar with a $5 cover charge.
“Queer prom is a big celebration for the LGBTQIA+ community,” said Allison Anstey, a SAGA board member and event organizer. “It’s a dance party; it’s music, and this year there’s gonna be a drag show, which is going to be really exciting.”
At last year’s prom, the board members organized a burlesque performance. One person had even dressed up as a mermaid and “seduced” their lover.
This year MUN SAGA has organized a drag show with the help of the East Coast Drag Company. The four performers will be Fashionista Jones, Johnny Diamond, Evelyn J. Tudor and Doctor Androbox.
Madison Pretty attended last year’s Queer Prom for the first time since she turned the legal drinking age and loved the event. She said she’s looking forward to the drag performances the most at this year’s prom.
“My friends have gotten me into Ru Paul’s Drag Race recently and they’re going to have local drag queens, so I’m excited to see what’s happening there,” Pretty said.
A safe place
The event is not just about partying for the sake of partying. Derek Semeard, another SAGA member and event organizer, said that even today he has met LGBTQ+people who aren’t comfortable being out to their family, to their coworkers or at school.
“Part of what we do at MUN SAGA is trying to ensure the academic locale, as an institution, is something that respects the people within it,” said Semeard. “That is a continual uphill battle and the best way to make sure everyone is in a ‘fighting mood,’ so to speak, is to make sure they have a happy moment to go back to and that happy moment for a lot of people is MUN SAGA and is queer prom.”
Semeard and Anstey emphasize that the event is intended to be a safe and comfortable atmosphere for all LGBTQ+ members.
Anstey says the downtown St. John’s scene can be a dangerous place for LGBTQ+ people.
“So, we wanted to create a space where people can celebrate the way they would downtown and have a good time but in a safer environment,” said Anstey.
“And all that under peer supervision, “making sure that people are held accountable for what they do that make people feel uncomfortable,” added Semeard.
Madison Pretty says she really appreciates how the annual event lets people be themselves.
“It’s nice to be around people that know what you’re going through,” she said.