Love was in the air at the Cal Poly Pavilion Saturday night when the Cal Poly Pride Center hosted the Pride Prom.
The prom, the final event of Pride Week, was Cal Poly’s second annual Pride Prom.
The event is designed to give the LGBT community, as well as allies (straight students who support the community), the kind of prom they never had in high school; it’s also an opportunity to socialize with each other.
“A lot of LGBT students didn’t get to go to their high school prom, or didn’t get to go with their partner. This gives them the prom they maybe didn’t have,” said Jessica Cresci, a recreation administration sophomore and Pride Center student coordinator.
Ever since Tortilla Flats closed two years ago, there has been no place for the LGBT community to socialize at night. So, the Pride Center started hosting the prom. This year, the Pride Center teamed up with students from REC 210, introduction to program design class, to do the planning.
Business junior Lindsey Walker was part of the planning committee. She was one of four recreation, parks and tourism administration students who worked all quarter to plan the event.
“It’s exciting to be part of the committee to help students get to experience prom all over again with the date of their choice,” she said when asked why she chose to work on this event.
This year’s theme was “All You Need is Love,” taken from The Beatles’ song in an effort to reflect the overall theme of Pride Week.
“The Pride Week theme was ‘It’s OK, it’s only love,’ so we thought this song fit into that,” Cresci said.
To bring the theme to life, the room was decorated in bright, ’60s-esque colors, a large peace sign was beamed on the wall and music by The Beatles and the Beach Boys in addition to contemporary remixes floated out of the speakers for couples and groups to dance to. Cresci estimates that more than 100 people attended.
Aerospace engineering senior Robert Bulmann came to the prom to connect with the LGBT community.
“I’m from a conservative little town and it’s really special to get this many people in one place. It doesn’t happen often,” he said.
And just like a high school prom, this one had a prom court.
“There are two ‘masculine’ crowns and two ‘feminine’ crowns, and winners can be whatever they feel comfortable with,” Cresci said.
This year’s court was made up of animal science junior Daniel Pfau, aerospace engineering sophomore Michael DiCato, animal science senior Kevin Haywood and political science junior Angela
Earth science freshman Nathan
Thorpe and landscape architecture
freshman Sabrina Wise came for fun as allies.
“I heard about it through Week of Welcome training and I think it’s great for people who never went to their high school prom,” Wise said.
Whether part of the LGBT community or not, the event is a valuable way for students to connect with each other.
“It gives students a chance to socialize with each other and the gay community,” Cresci said.
Bulmann agreed. “It shows people that they aren’t alone and are not freaks,” he said.