Santa Clara University, a Jesuit school in California, has hosted an on-campus “Rainbow Prom” for “people of all genders and sexualities.”
“All students are welcome to bring whomever they want to share the night with, but you are encouraged to bring a same-gender date in order to establish a prom environment that caters to LGBTQ students in a way that most proms don’t,” said an event description the Rainbow Prom 2015: Big Queer Party.
According to the university newspaper, the prom was hosted by Gay and Straight People for the Education of Diversity (GASPED).
“We decide with this event what we want to say to the community,” said GASPED coordinator Kristen Grewe. “We focus on queer empowerment, queer history, the queer movement and what it means to be queer on this campus and in the world.”
The prom “has become one of the most popular on-campus events of the year, complete with a DJ, a photo booth and hundreds of students filling Locatelli Activity Center to the brim,” the paper said. “The semi-formal attire imitates a high school prom, but there is more to it than the limos and boutonnieres of years past.”
This aim stems from the high school students that inspired rainbow proms around the country. After two girls were prohibited from attending their prom together, such events began cropping up as a form of resistance and challenge against such strict gendered restraints.
Fast forward a few years, and Rainbow Prom at Santa Clara has become one of the most popular on-campus events of the year, complete with a DJ, a photo booth and hundreds of students filling Locatelli Activity Center to the brim. The semi-formal attire imitates a high school prom, but there is more to it than the limos and boutonnieres of years past. …
“I think it’s great that it’s a chance to learn about LGBTQ at our school from their perspective,” said Casey Carstens, a sophomore planning on attending for a second time. “It’s a dance for everyone, which is important, but it’s also a chance to be a better ally.”
This Friday, students will relish the opportunity to open their minds and hearts by hearing the voices and experiences of a diverse group of Broncos in the Santa Clara community. And while the spotlight will be on celebrating the diversity of our LGBTQ students, Grewe assures that all are equally welcome.
“In the end,” Grewe said, “we still want everybody to just come and dance their pants off.”