The first gay prom the university has held in years kicked off at 8 p.m. on May 4 in the Student Center. Hosted by the SCAD Queers & Allies (Q&A) group, one of the largest clubs on campus, plenty of volunteers came together to create a final dance for the school year.
“Gay Prom was primarily our treasurer, Michael Bond’s, idea,” Q&A President Alex Cheves, said. “It was his brainchild, his baby. I left it up to him. I told him if he could reserve the space and fill out all the paperwork, then we’d do it.”
Luckily Bond, a fourth-year game design major, already had plenty of experience with setting up events similar to gay prom. “My sophomore year, I became an officer and that year actually became my first year running Gender Bender.” Gender Bender, a popular event Q&A is famous for, that encourages students to dress up as the opposite gender and come dance. Bond “inherited” the event and also ran it in 2011 and 2012.
“Gender Bender is a very loud, very fun event,” Cheves said. “Obviously one of the main aspects of it is that it encourages you to come out in drag. Gay prom is going to be very different.”
And it was. A smaller, more intimate event than Gender Bender, Gay Prom lived up to the expectations of Cheves and Bond as a more romantic, formal dance.
“We weren’t expecting a wild turnout,” Cheves said. “We wanted to encourage dates — looking nice, putting on a button-down.”
At the event, nostalgic prom decorations added to the atmosphere as rainbow ribbons adorned the ceiling and wound around the various white columns of the second floor. Shiny silver hearts hung above the tables, while gold cups with silver foil sprouting out of them acted as centerpieces on the plastic white tablecloths.
And what’s a prom without photos? Melissa Brosius, a fourth-year graphic design major and photography minor, manned the camera at the prom’s official photo booth.
“We decided to have a photo booth from the beginning,” Brosius explained. “We wanted to make sure they had pictures to remember it by, and we wanted the cheesy promness of it.” The photos will be available on Q&A’s Facebook Page later in the quarter.
And to top it all off, soda, chips, and candy were available for everyone to eat. “We’re going to have very minimal food,” Cheves had predicted. “Make this a date night, but go to dinner beforehand — hit a good restaurant.”
At 9:30 p.m., the band, John Lennon’s Tailor made an appearance and played a three-song set, giving DJ Christian Corsica a short break.
“It was nice,” Bond smiled. “Everyone got into it, clapping their hands, singing along.” Katie Parker, a guitarist in the band, is also the Q&A member that designed the posters for the event.
A little later, at 10 p.m., the raffle went underway. Tickets were available to any student that brought an office or toiletry supply with them to donate to Park Place, a Savannah youth center. Tickets could also be purchased for 50 cents each.
Shortly after ticket numbers were called and T-shirts were awarded, the walk-offs for prom king and prom queen were announced.
“We have a lot of members that are gender-neutral, gender-fluid, transgendered, and gender-variant,” Cheves said. “We completely opened up the title of prom king and prom queen.” Regardless of gender or dress, anyone could run for any title.
Two separate walk-offs were held for king and queen. The winners were determined solely by the volume of cheers they could evoke from the audience as they strutted their stuff down the runway. In the end, Nicholas Dephtereos, a third-year writing major, won prom king. As luck would have it, his boyfriend, Joseph Pate, third-year game designer and Q&A Secretary, won prom queen. The two were awarded with custom made T-shirts, crafted by the Q&A committee.
As the prom came to a close, guests were nearly breathless from the dance-offs and cheering. In spite of this, their smiles certainly meant that they would be marking down their calendars for next year’s Gay Prom.