Wednesday, June 2, 2004

Sounds Like Fun

From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

Gay prom is a happy affair in south Minneapolis

Mary Durden and Laura Grevas, Special to the Star Tribune

June 2, 2004

The beautiful old Blaisdell Manor in south Minneapolis is abuzz with excited teenagers and young adults streaming through the front door. Balloons and candlelit tables adorn the dance floor, providing a backdrop for the deejay’s lively music and brightly colored lights. In the foyer, girls chat and make adjustments to their formal gowns while boys strut around in traditional black and retro pastel tuxedos. Friends hug and cameras flash. It’s a typical all-American prom — almost.

A closer look reveals a few differences. The balloons are in rainbow colors, a ballot box encourages attendees to vote for a male and female for both prom king and queen, and among those in attendance are girls sporting eyebrow-pencil mustaches and boys wearing sequined gowns.

It’s the annual District 202 gay prom.

And this is one of its most fun activities. District 202’s Web site announces, “We’re Queer! We’re Here! We’re going to Prom!”

“A lot of kids don’t get to go to their regular prom. They don’t have to worry about prejudices here. It’s a good time to forget about all of the hatred for four hours of the day,” said Udgon Abdullahi, women’s group coordinator. Later, she was crowned Queer Prom 2004’s female prom queen.

“It’s safer,” said Ian Christiansen, a District 202 staff member. “They won’t have to fear being stared at or beat up.”

One of the things that makes growing up gay tough is that there aren’t very many chances to have a social environment you’re comfortable with. This sounds like a step in the right direction – and just plain fun, too. Good for them.