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The Diversity Prom

Most people take for granted the joys of attending a high school prom as a natural course of events. Attendees get to take a partner of their choice and experience an evening with memories that can last a lifetime. For the LGBT community, often it is easier to not attend a prom than to face being teased or taunted. That’s why, for the first time ever, Gay & Lesbian Youth Services of Western New York (GLYS) will be hosting a prom for “area youth ages 14 to 19 who – if they ask a date ‐ will be free to bring the person of their choice.”

Called The Diversity Prom, the point of the event is provide an enjoyable and memorable experience that is free from any forms of bullying. Conformity standards of traditional high school proms can mean that many LGBT youth either don’t plan to attend the event, or don’t bring the person of their choosing. In fact, there are still some high schools that don’t allow students to bring lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered (LGBT) partners to the prom. The Diversity Prom encourages these youth to bring whomever they want, as well as LGBT friends. 
The Diversity Prom for Western New York lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender -ed (LGBT) teens and their allies ages 14-19 will be held on Friday, June 7th, 2013, at Asbury Hall at Babeville in downtown Buffalo from 7:00 – 11:00 p.m. Tickets for the first time event sponsored by Gay & Lesbian Youth Services (GLYS) are $10 per person and are available at the door. Tickets include the use of a photo booth for creating prom memories. Attire for the prom, for LGBT youth and their allies from all eight WNY counties, is “dressy.” GLYS staff said that it is not necessary for youth to rent tuxedoes and or purchase full-length gowns. However, jeans, shorts, sweats and similar informal clothing are not appropriate. Refreshments, including water and punch, will be available. Princess DJ Fierce (Daughter to Empress 22, Keeper of the Music, Eyeliner, and Earrings, Her Highness of the Imperial Court of Buffalo) will provide music for dancing. Youth who are 18 or 19 years of age or mature in appearance should bring valid proof of age with them. Security will check bags, cargo pockets and backpacks at the door. Bottled liquids and items that could be used as weapons will be confiscated and not returned. The Diversity Prom is drug, alcohol and smoking free. Youth, if they leave the event for any reason, will not be permitted to re-enter.
Asbury Hall/Babeville is located at 341 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo (14202), at the corner of Tupper Street.
For information please call GLYS at 716.855.0221. 
Adults over the age of 25 who are interested in being a volunteer chaperone for the event should email Executive Director Marvin L. Henchbarger at for information and application.

Written by Sarah Maurer

Sarah Maurer

I moved to Buffalo to attend Canisius College in 2007 and began writing for Buffalo Rising as a journalism intern in 2010. Working with Newell and meeting numerous entrepreneurs, activists and everyday folks who were working to make their city better made a huge impact on my decision to stay here. After witnessing all the positive development and grassroots initiatives happening in neighborhoods throughout the city, I was inspired to pursue a term of service in AmeriCorps and a career in Buffalo's non-profit sector. I currently work in the housing department at the Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Services Center of WNY and am excited to be a part of their ongoing efforts to revitalize the Broadway Fillmore neighborhood. I also volunteer as the project coordinator for Artfarms Buffalo. I continue to write for Buffalo Rising because I love having the opportunity to stay connected to those working toward positive changes for the Queen City.

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