A PFLAG chapter in eastern Contra Costa County is hosting its first-ever Pride Prom in April, inviting LGBTQ+ teens from all the local district's high schools to attend.
The concept of a "queer prom" or Pride Prom is not new, but these kinds of events have not been too common around the Bay Area, despite the ever growing tide of out and proud LGBTQ youth. Down in Southern California, UC Riverside's Queer Alliance has been hosting a Pride Prom for both queer college students and those at local high schools and community colleges since 2003. And Santa Monica High School's LGTBQ youth group has been putting on a Queer Prom event for the past 11 years.
Livermore Pride, the LGBTQ+ organization representing the Tri-Valley area in Alameda County, has held Prime Prom events to which high schoolers were invited, but these appear to have been mostly adult events, including a "Pride Prom-ish" event they held in June 2021.
On April 23, as ABC 7 reports, PFLAG Claycord (Clayton and Concord) is putting on a Pride Prom of their own at Concord High School, for students only. Juniors and seniors ages 16 to 19 are invited to attend from all high schools in the Mount Diablo Unified School District, as well as Carondelet High School, Alhambra High School, De La Salle High School, and Clayton Valley Charter High School — and their plus-ones can be from other schools as well.
The event is being promoted through the schools' Gay Straight Alliances and other youth groups.
Organizer Kiku Johnson, the executive director of the Rainbow Community Center which is co-sponsoring the event, tells ABC 7, "To have this happen, is huge. To have that visibility, and it's not even just couples, it's all the ways in which we show up... We know that having a Pride Prom is going to be that [kind of visibility] exactly for our young people."
Johnson also says that "it's overdue" for Contra Costa County to be hosting an event like this for LGBTQ+ youth.
And Johnson adds that this event is especially important for students who have been further marginalized and isolated during the pandemic, often unable to have daily contact with their affinity groups and people to whom they might be out at school — as opposed to their homes where they might remain in the closet.
Find tickets and more information at the PFLAG Claycord website — and you can also sponsor a $40 ticket for a student in need.