Prom season is approaching and the LGBTQ Resource Center will be hosting a Pink Prom at which students of every sexual orientation can have a safe, fun and non-judgmental place to celebrate.
“Prom Elemento” will be held at Bellevue College in the cafeteria on May 29. Viren Kumar, a member of the resource center helping to organize the event, invites attendees to “come as their self,” whether that means dressed in a t-shirt and jeans, typical prom attire or some form of costume.
Event coordinator Tai Yang explained that the “Pink Prom is about promoting a safe place and inclusion to people who otherwise might not have that in a very hetero-normative world. So what tends to happen at a traditional prom are things like same-sex couples being turned down for discounted, couple tickets. We won’t do that here, it’s going to be a place where everyone can have fun.”
Although the Pink Prom has been held annually at the college for several years, in the past the primary focus has been on providing the prom experience to students who identify as LGBTQ and may not feel comfortable at a typical prom. Over the years this focus has caused attendance of Pink Prom to decline. In an effort to raise participation organizers have advertised the prom to students from surrounding colleges as well.
While a traditional prom has a prom king and queen, the Pink Prom will also have a “Prom Ze,” a gender-neutral title for prom royalty. In addition other titles such as “best dressed” will be awarded.
LGBTQ members have been focusing on the running start students at Bellevue College in the hopes that the word will get out to other high school students in the area. Emily Merrill, the LGBTQ resource center director and a student at Bellevue College, explained why she believes this program is significant.
“Not all the students here have had a chance to go to prom as themselves or with the people that they wanted to because either they were in the closet or just school wasn’t necessarily a healthy and safe environment.”
The prom will have the traditional dance floor as well as a quiet room, which according to Merrill “is for people who maybe can’t manage the level of noise and energy that’s on the main dance floor. They will have this room, which is going to have some chill music where students can sit and have a conversation if they wanted to.” The Pink Prom will also have a photo-booth where students can take pictures in their attire to remember the night.
Tickets to Prom Elemento can be purchased from the PALS Center in the C building for $5 before the prom, and will also be sold at the door for $7.