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June 11, 2013 > Gay Prom 2013 celebrates 19 years of community fellowship!

Gay Prom 2013 celebrates 19 years of community fellowship!

Submitted By Rochelle Collins

The Lambda Youth Project of Project Eden, Hayward, presents the 19th annual Gay Prom, Saturday, June 15, 2013. For more than a decade, this event has offered several hundred lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, questioning, queer, intersex, and 2 Spirit (LGBTQQI2-S) youth and straight "ally" friends, ages 20 and under, from across the state, an occasion to feel positive about themselves and learn about each other in a safe and life-affirming atmosphere.

Sponsored by Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit Program in southern Alameda County, the Gay Prom 2013 is being held at Chabot College. The event, attended by various social service agencies that offer risk-prevention information in an interactive format of games and prizes, is alcohol and drug free. The youth prom-planning team chose the theme of this year's prom to be "Express Yourself - Get Your Groove ON!" to emphasize safety, respect, and violence prevention.

Annual Gay Prom has grown into a full-scale community event, with over 400 youth expected this year to attend the dance, and over 100 adult supporters either chaperoning inside the event, or participating in the "pride festival" outside. What began as a "receiving line" outside the event, to buffer the youth from having to deal with anti-gay protestors, has grown into a festival of welcome, with the Lesbian and Gay Freedom Band playing fanfare music, and parents, clergy people, friends, teachers and others wearing bright colors and cheering the youth as they promenade into the prom.

In nineteen years, Gay Prom has seen significant changes. Attendance, including supportive straight youth, has grown each year, paralleling the steady increase in numbers of LGBTQQI2-S youth who attend Lambda youth groups, looking for support and safe places to hang out together. Many attend both the Gay Prom and their school prom. The highly popular Carnival Room, where young people learn about healthy life skills through informational games will continue this year and the event is still loud and clear about being an alcohol and substance-free, harassment-free space.

For more information about Gay Prom 2011, Lambda Youth Project, or Project Eden, please visit www.gayprom.org or call Rochelle U. Collins, Program Director (510) 247-8200.

Donations are NEEDED and WELCOME

Gay Prom
Saturday, June 15
7 p.m. - 12midnight
Chabot College
25555 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward
(510) 247-8200
www.gayprom.org

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