Queer Prom offers music, dancing and inclusivity


Guests dancing on the dance floor during GSEC’s Second Annual Queer Prom Photo credit: Angel Ortega

The second annual Queer Prom, organized and promoted by Chico State’s Gender and Sexuality Equity Coalition (GSEC), was hosted on Saturday at the Bell Memorial Union.

Queer Prom was held as part of Gender and Sexuality Week, in which GSEC puts on many inclusive events for the LGBTQ community and their allies regarding gender identity, activism and celebration of sexuality and individuality.

Queer Prom was open to the public for both LGBTQ members and allies. Photo credit: Angel Ortega

The dance offered catered food from Associated Students, a photo booth and a DJ playing music throughout the whole night.

The theme for this year’s Queer Prom was “Blast to the Past,” and featured music from the ‘80s, this decade and every decade in between. Whether it was Blondie or Ms. Lauryn Hill, the music stayed consistently high-tempo and maintained a vibrant mood throughout the evening.

Alvin Black, aka Millian, performing during GSEC's Queer Prom. Photo credit: Angel Ortega

The inspiration behind Queer Prom, as said by Drew Belisle, the Queer Program Coordinator at GSEC, is to give a space where individuals of the LGBTQ community can get “a grasp of what community is like” for those who may have felt discouraged from participating in activities during high school.

“A lot of [LGBTQ] members that are in high school have really been silenced to not being able to go to a prom with their partner, not being to go to an event where you’re meant to be you, where you’re meant to have that bond with other people just like you,” Belisle said. “Queer prom is an experience for all individuals… [and for] finding yourself throughout different activities and events and dancing and just being who you are.”

On top of lots of dancing from guests, Queer Prom also featured various dance performances from members of the Envy Hip Hop Dance Team, among others.

Chico State's Envy Hip Hop Team performing during Queer Prom. Photo credit: Angel Ortega

Queer Prom was open to the public, for individuals 18 years of age or older, and welcomed both LGBTQ members and allies.

GSEC coordinators and staff greeted guests with open arms, instilling a warm welcoming that evidently left many in a cheery mood. Not a worry was had by anyone at the dance as the dance floor was constantly occupied for the four-hour duration of the event.

Guests dancing on the dance floor during GSEC's Second Annual Queer Prom Photo credit: Angel Ortega

Queer Prom concluded Gender and Sexuality Week but is one of many events hosted by GSEC throughout the school year. On April 25, GSEC, in collaboration with other organizations, will be hosting Take Back the Night, an event focused on bringing awareness to sexual assault survivors.

Angel Ortega can be reached at [email protected] and @AngelOrtegaNews on Twitter.