Aside from the annual fest that took over Mill Street this past weekend, there was another traditional celebration on campus with a more nostalgic feel.
On Friday, ALLY, Ohio University’s Gay Straight Alliance, presented Queer Prom, an annual event for the LGBTA community to help amend the social stigma surrounding same sex couples’ allowance at high school proms.
The night had many elements similar to that of a traditional prom, with a DJ, dancing, formal pictures, food and a hall decorated according to the theme “Under the Sea.”
Much like a traditional prom, the night featured a gender-neutral prom court of six members: PJ Scott-Blankenship, Lindsay Brown, Erin Finley, Haley Posey, Nicole Eggar and Annie Drew.
“I’m always extremely excited about Queer Prom and this year was no exception,” said Kayley Miller, a junior studying communication. “I wish I had known about it freshman year because the diverse group of people that attend really make the event and are amazing people to meet.”
ALLY organizes Queer Prom each year as an all-inclusive semi-formal event because some high school proms do not acknowledge or allow LGBTA couples, causing some people to feel left out.
“It may not make up for it completely, but it gives people in the LGBTA community a chance to relive their prom experience on a neutral ground,” said Amber Gemperline, president of ALLY and a senior studying communication studies. “It’s a really great experience if you maybe didn’t have the best time in high school.”
The prom’s openness to all different types of couples and people had a big impact on the event, said Ryan Vollrath, vice president of ALLY and a junior studying history and psychology.
“This event is important because it is a safe space for people to express themselves however they choose while bringing a date of their choice,” Vollrath said.
Besides being an all-inclusive space for the LGBTA community, the event was alcohol-free and also monetarily free, which seemed to be a good alternative to many of the other fests and parties on campus.
“This event promotes inclusion and togetherness, which is the whole mission of ALLY as an organization,” Gemperline said. “It’s a time where anyone on the queer spectrum, or straight allies, can come together and have a good time, free of judgments.”