Inclusive dance spreads cheer and raises awareness
THE SANTA CLARA
January 28, 2016
Being banned from prom, the highlight of the high school social circuit, should only be a plotline in a teen movie. But this actually happened to two teen girls who were prohibited from attending their prom because they wanted to take each other.
The backlash was immediate and not limited to the high school where the incident occurred. LGBT proms quickly grew in popularity across the country and soon after Santa Clara decided to host its very own Rainbow Prom in 2010. GASPED, Gay And Straight People Educating For Diversity, in tandem with Santa Clara Community Action Program, will be hosting the sixth annual Rainbow Prom this Friday as part of their ongoing mission to make Santa Clara a more inclusive campus for everybody.
“It’s geared to be fun, it’s geared to be a glimpse into the complex world that is LGBT oppression and the struggle for rights,” said GASPED Program Coordinator Piper Thomasson. “It’s not LGBT Studies 101. Just come be exposed, come learn a little bit.”
Since the Prom could potentially attract controversy, Santa Clara requires that the event educates students on some part of the LGBT+ culture or history. The educational aspect this year revolves around the history of Pride Parades and their importance to the LGBT+ community.
“People have been saying that (Pride) is over run by straight people who think it’s a fun event, but it really comes out of a history of protest,” Thomasson said. “I think this theme won out over the rest of them because people feel like there has been a lot of momentum and a lot of victories but we don’t want anyone to forget that there’s still a lot more to do.”
As part of this year’s theme, students have written, directed and produced a video which highlights past pride parade footage and statistics crucial to their awareness campaign. The room will be decorated with posters and informational timelines of pride parades. Students have also set up a photo booth with a hand-made landscape featuring a rainbow background. Attendees are encouraged to share their pictures on social media with the hashtag #RainbowProm.
The dance is intended to bring awareness to the tradition of pride parades and to be a place for self-expression without fear of retribution. Rainbow Prom will be held this Friday at the Locatelli Center and is free to anyone with a Santa Clara access card.
“It’s a genuinely fun event and we encourage everybody, no matter who they are, to just enjoy themselves and express themselves in any positive way that they want to,” Thomasson said. “You only get four chances to do this and each time is more fun than the next.”
Contact Perla Luna at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.