The Music City Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, GLSEN of Middle Tennessee, and the Reconciling Committee at Belmont United Methodist Church hosted a queer prom for fifty high school kids Saturday evening.
The Sisters worked all day to decorate the space, inflating 700 balloons to create rainbow arches and columns, and fairytale themed tables. GLSEN provided the kids, and the Reconciling Committee from Belmont UMC brought the refreshments and reserved the space for us.
There was an amazing DJ who took requests all evening. A photographer took prom pictures. Drag entertainers from the previous night’s H8’s a Drag performed. It was a magical evening.
Sister Celia Lipps and I took turns as emcees. The highlight for me came near the end. Before introducing Ivy Saint James as Ariel, performing Part of Your World from The Little Mermaid, I jokingly told the kids how I remembered high school. I was in the band and on band trips, I remembered it being important to have landmarks on the way home. I had to know when it was time to make my move, to put my arm around the girl (back then, it was a girl), to put my hand on her knee, or even maybe to go in for that kiss.
I told the youth that they needed to know there where two more entertainers and one more song. These were their landmarks. Now was the time to make their moves!
Ariel didn’t even get halfway through her number before the dance floor filled with couples. So there she was, a mermaid drag queen dancing a song about longing, in a sea of swaying couples.
I thought, this is their normal. These kids are growing up expecting this to be ok. What will this mean for their future? What will it mean that they won’t have to closet who they are out of fear, but instead can be who they are as, well, normal?
There wasn’t anyone over thirty in the room who wasn’t crying tears of joy, maybe mixed with a little sadness.
I know I cried them myself as a danced with my husband.