Trans students across the country are under attack.
Eighteen-year-old B. Hayes of Nashville, Tennessee, was barred from their own prom for wearing a tux instead of a dress. In 2009, a Fulton, Mississippi, high school ended up entangled in a lawsuit after canceling its senior prom because student Constance McMillan wanted to wear a tux and take her girlfriend as a date.
The court ruled that the school had violated Constance’s First Amendment rights. But it hasn’t always been this way — and it doesn’t have to be this way. In 2007, two transgender students from Fresno, California, ran for prom king and queen — and one won prom queen.
NiK Kacy is recreating the prom experience for adults who couldn’t express their true selves in high school. After settling into adulthood as a transmasculine, non-binary queer person — their true identity — Kacy wanted the opportunity to attend prom as their authentic self. As the founder and producer of Queer Prom, Kacy hopes to share the ultimate prom experience with everyone.
“Many of us were not able to attend prom in high school as our authentic selves,” Kacy tells The Advocate Channel. “As we are further marginalized and threatened by politics and social issues, our 'Behind the Velvet Rope' Studio54-themed celebration will unite all the colors and spectrums of our beautiful queer tribe."
Queer Prom, hosted this year by #WeHoPride on June 1, 2023, at The West Hollywood EDITION, is a fundraising event for Equality Fashion Week (EFW), also created and executive produced by Kacy. This year’s Queer Prom will transport people back to the heyday of disco at Studio54 via Sunset (created by the cofounder of the original Studio 54), The Edition’s underground club.
Kacy endeavors to create positive and joyful experiences for the queer community in an environment of growing political attacks across the country. In 2023 alone, over 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced across the country, queer-themed books are the most banned, and the LGBTQ+ community remains a primary target of hate crimes nationwide.
This year’s Queer Prom will be hosted by LGBTQ+ influencer Amber's Closet, trans model and musician Laith Ashley, and trans model, comedian and actress Arisce Wanzer. The event will feature performances by RuPaul's Drag Race star Landon Cider, DJ Daisy O’ Dell, and more.
Kacy wants to provide a light in a dark time for the queer community. Staying optimistic and positive — and reclaiming joy — amidst what can feel like nonstop attacks against one’s identity is a tall order, and events like Queer Prom are critically important.For tickets, click here.