LGBTQ+ Students are Excited to be Themselves at Prom

Amelia Komisar-Bury, Opinion Editor

Historically, LGBTQ+ individuals have not been able to attend prom as themselves without fearing for their safety, luckily, according to ERHS students, the times have changed.

Mr. Dave Eisenberg, engineering teacher and sponsor of the LGBTQIA+ Alliance, said it was very uncommon for gay couples to go to prom when he was in high school in the 1980s. “You usually might hear tell of something happening like that in a land far away, but I didn’t know of anything directly about that.”

Today at Roosevelt, multiple LGBTQ+ couples are planning on attending.  Senior Vlad Kovalskiy said choosing to go to prom “should be like…from the soul.” He will be attending with his boyfriend, “I really want to go, he really wants to go, so that’s why we’re going.”

According to Mr. Eisenberg, being a part of the LGBTQ+ community put a lot of young people in harm’s way in the 1980s. “Back then … people would get beat up…not that it’s right, but that’s what happened.”

ERHS students only have to worry about the occasional stare. Emma Allen, a senior, said that they and their girlfriend are “kind of used to it.”

Kovalskiy  said that even though “probably someone’s going to be like ‘what’s happening.’ [when they see me and my boyfriend at prom] I don’t know, I don’t really care about that, like more people than not are going to absolutely fine with it.”

Another problem for LGBTQ+ individuals is finding formal wear that allows them to express who they are at prom. As a non-binary person, Allen has a hard decision to make, “it’s definitely something I’ve gone back and forth on like a tux or a dress, um or a tux dress, who knows?”

Finding clothing that fits can also be difficult. Jay Yen, a trans man in the 12th grade, relayed his experience “fitting … also ties into [gender] dysphoria because like it doesn’t fit, and it’s like ‘oh, right, because my body’s not right, so that’s why, ya.’” Gender dysphoria is a condition where individuals experience distress that their bodies do not match their gender identity. 

While Roosevelt’s prom will allow in people of all genders and orientations, the phenomenon of LGBTQ+ youth not being able to attend prom is still a part of our culture. The Prom, a musical currently on Broadway, follows the media attention surrounding a girl in Indiana wanting to take her girlfriend to prom.

Thankfully, as Yen said, “people here are pretty great.”