COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Columbus Lesbian & Gay Softball Association put on the first-ever unity prom Saturday at the Ohio Statehouse.
The sold-out event was called a do-over for those who didn’t get to be their authentic selves at prom, except this time around the punch was spiked, the prom court was non-gendered, and there were performances from people like Virginia West.
All the proceeds from tonight are going to Kaleidoscope Youth Center, an organization that supports queer youth in Ohio.
For many attendees, the event was a chance to make their prom night right.
“It was miserable for me actually, I went with a date that didn’t want to dance,” said Michael Holland. “I graduated in 2008, and gay was kind of still taboo back then.”
For Holland and so many others in the queer community, that’s their reality, which is why organizers wanted this to be the exact opposite of that.
“I wanted to do an event to allow them to recognize who they are and who they aren’t is exactly who they were supposed to be,” said organizer Keith Speers.
He says the idea came up in January. The CLGSA agreed to sponsor it and they began getting the word out.
It sold out, and donations even allowed people who couldn’t afford a $30 ticket to come.
The goal was to make it accessible to everyone, no matter their economic background or gender identity.
“I think it’s easy to get caught up in all of the stories and the news and to think we’re doomed,” Speers said. “But I think there are many more people out here that believe that people should be able to live their lives as they are, love the people that they love.”
And those in attendance couldn’t agree more.
With the success of the event, organizers are hopeful to continue doing the event for years to come.