Ed Note: This is a guest post from Alex Schwemmer. Alex is 18-years-old, works with kids in a local daycare, and loves animals.
Queer Prom to me means freedom; it means having the freedom to be who you are and the freedom to have fun. Being in an environment where you can be yourself without being judged and where you can let yourself go knowing that you are among allies, that is a feeling of freedom.
When I heard about Queer Prom 2013 I knew that it would be that kind of environment and that I had to go. With that, I went shopping, made plans, and waited. I knew a lot about Queer Prom from friends having gone previous years, so I knew that you could wear casual, semi-casual or formal wear without standing out. Not having a strict dress code makes things that much more comfortable for everyone because there isn’t the pressure of wearing something you aren’t comfortable in. People don’t have to worry about dressing in clothing that is expected of them and their gender and they can just come as themselves.
Walking through the doors I saw all kinds of people and the thing is, they weren’t uncomfortable, they weren’t judging or separated into “cliques” or stereotypes, they were just there and they were having a blast. There were couples, friends, groups and people who came alone to meet new friends or spark new flames. The beauty of the situation was that there was no pressure to be something that you’re not.
To me, that’s amazing; that’s how things should be.
Pressure, “proper” gender roles, stereotypes, they are all unnecessary and cause so much tension. That is what I loved so much about this prom, and what I have always loved about this community: the people involved are accepting. If someone were to ask me why I wanted to go back, I would tell them that there is a feeling of freedom in environments like that that is hard to describe (Not to mention there was some amazing music playing and delicious food to enjoy). I will be back for Queer Prom 2014, there’s no question about it.
Do you want to know more about Queer Prom and other amazing programs offered by the Utah Pride Center? Check out their page for amazing info and events!