Pride Prom celebrate students' identities

Vicki Liu/Daily
Kinesiology freshman Katie Baur chats with her date Christine Lise, an Engineering alum, at the annual Pride Prom at The Michigan League Saturday. Buy this photo

By Emilie Plesset, Daily Staff Reporter
Published April 6, 2014

About 40 University students had a second chance to create prom night memories at the fire-and-ice-themed Pride Prom in the Michigan League Saturday night.

The LGBT Issues Commission of Central Student Government sponsored the Pride Prom to provide students the opportunity to express themselves in a fun social setting. The Commission works to improve and promote LGBTQ student life and pride throughout the year.

LSA junior Robert Schwarzhaupt, the Commission’s chair, said the event is valuable because many LGBTQ individuals don’t have the chance to experience prom or dances during in high school.

“We really wanted to bring back that tradition and give people the space to experience that prom-cliché kind of dance,” he said.

Although the Commission was unable to hold a prom last year, there have been other pride proms at the University in the past hosted by other groups.

LSA senior Katarina Evans said she went to Pride Prom a few years ago in East Quad, but noted that this year’s prom included more of the campus community since it was held in the League.

Many students attended this year’s prom wearing dresses and bow ties. While students danced in the center of the room, prom-goers could also take pictures in a photo booth.

Music, Theatre & Dance sophomore Kalia Medeiros, who attended the event, said it met all her expectations.

“There’s a photo booth, dancing, camaraderie and food,” Medeiros said. “What more could you ask for?”

In an effort to create a comfortable environment, the Commission provided a gender-neutral bathroom for trans-identified students, served a large selection of food to cater to special diets, and ensured that the DJ did not play music that could be considered offensive or exclusive.

“We’re trying to create the best social space for everyone,” Schwarzhaupt said.

Kinesiology freshman Katie Baur and University alum Christine Lisee went to the prom wearing a matching corsage and boutonniere.

“I wasn’t really out in high school so I never really got to do anything like this,” Lise said. “I was like, cool let’s get dressed up and do this one thing together.”

In addition to Pride Prom, the LGBT Commission holds bimonthly meetings and retreats throughout the year and sponsors Gayz Craze at Palmer Field in the fall.