Prom is for Everyone
On Saturday, June 6, Pittsburgh’s Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) will host their ninth annual Youth Pride Prom at the Andy Warhol Museum. Complete with table games, dinner, a drag EMCEE, and a DJ, GLSEN is striving to make this year’s Pride Prom a night to remember.
Established in 1990, GLSEN aims to help gay, lesbian, bi and transsexual students become respected and valued within a school setting, despite their sexual orientation, gender expression, or gender identity. With eight out of every 10 LGBT students still bullied in schools across America, GLSEN “accomplish[es] goals by working in hallways across the country … to improve school climate and champion LGBT issues in K-12 education.” The 2013 National School Climate Survey conducted by GLSEN found that 18.1 percent of students were not allowed to attend their school’s prom with someone of the same gender, meaning that every year, one-fifth of all students will not attend their high school prom. In order to provide this experience to LGBT students, GLSEN holds the Pgh Youth Pride Prom, catered towards youth ages 13 to 20, to create a sense of community, belonging and pride among these students.
This year’s theme, “There’s No Place Like Candyland,” is a mashup between the Candyland board game and “The Wizard of Oz” movie, and attendees will have options to participate in multiple theme-correspondent activities like an Oz tarot card reader and a hand writing analyst. This year also marks the third year that the Youth Pride Prom will be held at the Andy Warhol Museum. The museum contains artistic pieces that span across Warhol’s life, including pieces that Warhol created to express his sexuality. As an openly gay man, Warhol was not always accepted within society, to which he responded: “I decided I just wasn’t going to care, because those were all the things that I didn’t want to change anyway, that I didn’t think I ‘should’ want to change… Other people could change their attitudes, but not me.”
Before the prom, GLSEN will host a decorating party on Monday, May 18, from 5-8PM at the Warhol. Youths attending the prom can volunteer their time to decorate and have the lead say in the coordination of the prom. During the last 20 minutes of the Decorating Party, volunteers will be able to find dresses and attire to wear, receive input from other attendees and get to know each other. Volunteers at the Decorating Party will also receive one free ticket.
Interested volunteers and sponsors are needed to help prepare and take down the prom, along with companies willing to donate the time of photographers and DJs or monetary contributions to GLSEN.
“There’s No Place Like Candyland” kicks off at 6PM on June 6. Tickets can be bought at Sewickley Public Library, Biddle’s Escape, The Big Idea Bookstore, Stoke’s Grill, Laser Storm Pittsburgh and online.