On Apr. 22 PRISM hosted the very first Pride Prom at Kean University. This event was the first prom for those in the LGBTQIA+ community. With tarot card readings and drag shows, this truly was a night to remember.
“Pride Prom has been the dream of many Prism presidents before me,” said Rashaad Couloote , president of prism. “My current e-board and I decided that the Special Projects Application was the perfect step towards making Pride Prom a reality.”
PRISM is an organization dedicated for creating awareness of LGBTQIA+ issues as well as making safe spaces for those in the community and their allies. PRISM’s goal is to achieve inclusivity across campus by educating and enacting change for LGBTQIA+ community members and allies.
“Our main goal was to showcase how Prism can be a safe space for members of the LGBTQ+ community on campus and to give those same members a high school prom experience that a lot of them wanted,” said Couloote. “It is also something of note to mention that the COVID-19 pandemic recently happened and most of our student body hasn’t experienced prom due quarantine/self-isolation.”
At Pride Prom: Under the Northern Lights, there were many festivities that participants could engage in. Some of the activities included a tarot card reading, a photo booth and a caricature station. Participants also got to see a drag show with performances by Divinity Banks, Devon Cass, Harmonica Sunbeam and Sol the Drag Queen.
“When it came to specifically the tarot readings, one of the drag performers was a tarot card reader already, so that was a bonus. Drag performances are a known staple in queer/gay culture and we thought it would be a great selling point if we had four drag shows in one for only $5 altogether,” said Couloote.
In addition to a night of dancing and fun, like any other prom there was a ceremony similar to that of Prom King and Queen. However, to be inclusive the title was changed to Prom Royalty and four winners were announced. The winners of Prom Royalty included Rashaad Couloote, Mya Roman, Tarlo and Katelyn Augustino.
This event is the first ever Pride Prom to ever occur at Kean University. By holding a prom-like event for those in the LGBTQIA+ community, PRISM is making its mark on the university by setting an example of inclusivity and acceptance.
“We, at Prism, are ecstatic for this to go down in Kean history,” said Couloote. “My team and I are really happy that we made this possible and hope to bring Pride Prom back for the rest of Kean’s life.”
Based on the reactions of the attendees, they greatly enjoyed the event and hope to see more like this in the future. Participants had a great night full of dancing, laughing and singing. For being the first Pride Prom at Kean, it had a great turn out and left many attendees excited for more.
“I hope that people will remember the entirety of the event, but if I had to be specific, I hope that people will remember the positive and welcoming space that Prism creates and had during the event. I also hope that they remember the feeling of comfortability when Prism or any one of our e-board and current members are near,” said Couloote.