Many lesbians were unable or chose not to attend their own proms. They were afraid to take the person they really wanted. They would not fit in wearing a cross gendered outfit. They could not be themselves openly. Today, although more high schools are welcoming of LGBT youth, many still feel uncomfortable and unsafe dressing as they want to or being able to fully represent themselves in public. It is for all these women, including myself, that I created Austin’s first lesbian adult prom. Lez Prom 2016 welcomed all self identified women to dance, kiss, and dress as they liked.
Not only were they welcomed but they were at home among other women who like women. It feels good to be with people you share an understanding with, an identity.
I attended my own high school prom both years as a straight cisgendered female. In my junior year at prom time I was single but I still wanted to go, so I did. I attended prom with a group of 10 of my closest friends. I took a guy friend to my senior prom, there was no romantic spark but I really did not want to go alone that year.
I was not “out” in high school because I did not know myself to be gay at that time. It’s not something I was hiding or struggling with. I came out much later in life in my mid-20s, this was my second chance.
My chance to dress up again. My chance to go back to high school on my terms. My chance to dance all night, on one special night, with someone I love.
Not only was I able to enjoy this, but I was surrounded by a group of two hundred women experiencing the same. Looking around I saw people enjoying life in the same way I do.
Lez Prom welcomed all women and had a diverse audience represented by queers aged 18-65. Some came to feel beautiful, others came to celebrate romance. There were lesbians, bisexuals, transexuals, asexuals, and drag kings in attendance.
This evening allowed everyone to dress as they are and how they feel. They dressed to represent themselves. They dressed to show others who they really are, to represent their gender identity. And they were never questioned.
All were accepted here. No judgement. No questions. No second looks, just second chances.
Lez Prom promoted a zero bullying policy, but no issues ever arose. All bathrooms were labeled with colorful “gender neutral” signs and no one looked twice at the formal choice of an attendee. No one had to worry about their safety, about being gawked at, talked about, or mocked.
Throughout the night entertainers from the LGBT community performed. The stage saw live music from Stella Cottrell, performances from Austin’s only drag king troupe- a gender bending lip syncing group of guys, saucy burlesque and stunning aerial numbers.
The night’s entertainment culminated in the competition and crowning of Lez Prom King & Queen 2016. Members from the audience were selected as they volunteered to compete for either award. Whoever you want to be and declare yourself as is who we take you to be here. You can be a king or a queen in a dress.
I was so happy to see the turnout of nearly 200 women on this Valentine’s eve in Austin. The diversity of the audience assured me that all felt welcome here. I created this event for women, all women, to feel safe, to dance, to dress themselves up so they felt beautiful, to come with who they wanted, and to kiss freely, openly, and gayly.
I want to thank ALL of you. You are beautiful. And you are loved.