The prom you’ve always wanted

Shakira Sison
The prom you’ve always wanted
If given the chance to go to the prom again under different circumstances, would you?

If there’s one photo that is a staple in most family albums, it’s the prom picture. Second only to a wedding picture or a first communion shot, the prom picture has always been the hallmark memento of youth, with its outdated hairstyles and hormonal skin, unsure poses in living rooms in front of parents who were both nervous and proud.

For many girls it’s the first time they dress for their own social event, and for most boys it is a test of initiative and courage, not to mention their first time in a tux or suit. It’s also likely that this is the first time a girl introduces a boy to her dad.

Say what you will about the hype surrounding that evening – it’s cumbersome, expensive, and rarely romantic. That doesn’t mean the prom is any less worked up in a teenager’s mind. As soon as junior or senior year starts, there is a buzz in the hallways, classrooms and in cliques. Who’s taking whom, who needs to be asked, who is going to have trouble finding a date? Where will you get your dress? Will your date pick you up in a car? Will your father let you stay out late that night?

Boys line up their first, second and third date choices in their minds. Then they torment themselves about the timing of asking, the possibility of rejection, or being beaten to it by a quicker, smoother guy. Girls wait around to be asked, dropping feelers, soliciting friends to pass messages along. The event turns out to be colorful and glittery, starring one’s friends in their best formal attire.

Photos by Ja Lim.

Exceptions

Unless you’re gay. Then you probably didn’t go, or were forced to go with the wrong date or wearing an outfit you did not like. Your friends were all excited about it so you believed you should be, too. But a close look at your prom picture reveals the awkwardness of that night in your face that seems to ask, “Is this what I have to deal with for the rest of my life?” 

The answer then was yes. Fortunately, many of us knew how to work around it, realizing that there is so much more to the world than that one glamorous prom night that was all wonderful for the majority but not for the select few. We went to college, we outgrew our friends, and we realized that there isn’t much to be gained by always trying to conform to popular standards. We found our own spaces and places where we could be who we were without fear of judgment. 

There are also those among us who take it one step further and come up with ideas to make things right, even if it’s many years later.

Spectrum MNL is a group of those people. With their first event “PROM NIGHT: The Prom You’ve Always Wanted,” they plan to recreate what isn’t exactly a high school prom scene, but the prom hype and feel. But this time you get to take the date you’ve always wished you could ask the first time around.

According to their Facebook profile, Spectrum MNL is a group of women that aims to provide a safe space where women who love women can come together, build a community, and have fun through organizing events for women.

What is a “safe space”?

safe space in the LGBTQ community is one where people can act and dress the way they want without fear of discrimination, bullying, and violence. It is no different from any other space except that people convene with the explicit understanding that the rights, comfort and dignity of those who are present will be protected by each other, and where respect for others is strongly emphasized. 

For this April 12 event, women of every gender expression and every part of the spectrum will be welcome without fear of being judged and marginalized. Women-loving women are encouraged to come in prom attire. Singles are welcome, as well as groups of friends. It is an adult-only affair as alcohol will be served, but we all know that it’s now more fun to be older and to not need the permission of mom and dad. 

If you’re available, come and reclaim your lost moment of youth. No matter how old you are, it’s never too late to go to the prom and have your moment to shine.

QUEERSPOTTING: PROM NIGHT – The Prom You’ve Always Wanted will be held on Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 8pm at Excess Superclub, Timog, Quezon City. There will be dance performances by SMZ Philippines and That’s My Tomboy Grand Finalists; musical performances by Rita Martinez, Rizza Cabrera, and the band Flying Ipis. DJ Cherry and the female duo Kat DJ and Patty Tiu (aka Deuce Manila) will be the DJs for the evening.

Spectrum MNL is composed of Onek Arce, Ashley Astibe, Ira Briones, Ishe Ambrocio, Nariese Giangan, Alex De Guzman, Ayee Ilagan, Ja Lim, Meds Medina, and “Queersilver.” For more details on this and other Spectrum MNL events, you may find them online on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. – Rappler.com

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