The Campus Activities Board (CAB) and Queer Club are joining forces to create a prom unlike any high school dance, where everyone can feel welcome.
The special programming coordinator for the CAB, Nhan Hoang, is doing what he can to get a bigger crowd coming to Queer Prom than there has been the last few years.
Hoang said the LGBTQ Club started doing these dances two years ago to give queer students a prom experience they probably would not otherwise have in high school.
The dance will be happening from 7 p.m. through midnight on may 24 in the Student Union Building (SUB).
Students are encouraged to wear their personally decorated masks to the Queer Prom that night for the dance’s Masquerade theme.
The CAB and LGBTQ clubs have planned an opportunity all day before the dance for students to decorate masquerade masks in the SUB.
Hoang said he expects Queer Prom to be more like a dance or a party than a prom, with a more comfortable atmosphere.
Student Tammy Le went to last year’s Queer Prom and said only about twenty students attended because of not enough awareness of the event. She expects attendance to double with more promoting for the dance.
Le said last year’s Queer Prom included food, drinks, candy, and a crowning of a king and queen of the prom.
Queer Prom is free, and this year it includes catered food, and a photo booth. DJ Luvva J, SPSCC Professor Jose Gutierrez Jr., is booked to provide music for the dance.
Hoang said donations are welcome from prom-goers. Donations will go to the SPSCC Foundation scholarship for LGBTQ allies.
Carrie Scott is a member of the LGBTQ community in her first year at the college, and she said she plans on going to the Queer Prom.
This will be the first queer prom Scott has attended. While her previous prom experience was not a negative one, she said, she is curious to see if this one will be similar.
Scott said she has not yet participated in school clubs. She
said she might consider being in the LGBTQ club next year.
Scott heard about the dance from friends in the Diversity and equity Center.
Running start student Meagan Bennett said she will go to Queer Prom to support her friends. Bennett said she will attend both Queer Prom and her high school prom, but she said she anticipates that Queer Prom will be more fun than her high school prom.
Bennett said she is encouraging her gay and lesbian friends to go to Queer Prom, because she knows they are uncomfortable and not excited to go to their high school proms. She said Queer Prom is a great alternative for them because it is not only for SPSCC students, and it will be a much more friendly
Gavin Mast, another running start student, went to his high school prom last year, and he said it was really bad. He said he does not plan to go to his senior prom this year. Instead, he said he is going to Queer Prom, which is a lot more inclusive.
Mast said he will take his girlfriend, Clara Macias, to the dance. Macias said the high school dances that she has attended were not fun with a “whole bunch of grinding.” she is expecting more activities than just dancing at the Queer Prom.
Macias said she will dress up for this formal event, and will go “all out” on her outfit.
Macias and Mast said they have been to a queer prom before in downtown Olympia. They said it was a good experience, and they said they think this one will be a good experience too, with a lot of their friends going.
Hoang said he knows of many LGBTQ Club and CAB members who are going to Queer Prom, as well as several students from other clubs and groups, such as Diversity and Equity Center Students and Student Senate members.
Hoang said he is spreading the word to get more clubs involved.
Cindy Uhrich, the Program Support Supervisor for Student Life, said Queer Prom cost about $1,225 last year for food, drinks, DJ, and campus security. She suspects the budget will be around the same this year.