Last night, Jim and I went to the OutYouth Prom. It's billed as an "Alternative Prom," for those who would not feel comfortable at the usual high school affair. It attracts all kinds of kids, mostly gay, but some goth, and some home-schooled kids who would not otherwise have access to a prom.
We did our chaperon stint, which consisted mostly of hanging out at the "sign-in" table and guarding the money box. The prom is free, but donations are encouraged.
They were expecting not more than 65 kids; they got twice that many. The DJ played an eclectic assortment of music, from country to club, with a little salsa thrown in. The kids danced, and danced. The floor was always full.
Some were there in traditional prom attire, and some followed the theme, which was Rocky Horror Picture Show. Some were dressed according to their own style, with flowing coloured hair, makeup on boys and girls alike, pink-and-green striped platform boots, or whatever struck their fancy. Girls in tailcoats. One of the organizers was there in a cream tailcoat over purple slacks and camisole, with pink Converse tennies. Her head was halo'd by a line of those tiny clips in her very short hair. The level of imagination and individual expression was delightful to see.
Also delightful was seeing all those kids, comfortable in their skins for one glorious night.
Jim and I volunteered at this event last year, and this one was a world away. Last year's was outdoors, and while that gave it a more picnic atmosphere, I much preferred this one. I can always do without dust, heat and flies. And with a dance floor, and the hotel atmosphere (Thanks, Woodward Wyndham), it was a "real" prom.
Jim preferred last year's, with its camp-out feel, and volunteer crew, but I was much more at home in the air conditioning.
Thanks to everyone who made the project happen, including the United Court of Austin, who raised $1500 to pull it all together.