University of Michigan hosts Pride Prom, and over 100 LGBTQ+ students attend

The night was a celebration for the LGBTQ+ community. (Stock image/Getty)

The University of Michigan hosted its annual Pride Prom, and over 100 LGBTQ+ students, staff, faculty and alumni attended. 

Attendees flocked to the campus for the “Written in the Stars”-themed event, which took place between 8-11 pm on 5 April. The free event was hosted by the Spectrum Centre and was co-sponsored by the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs and Rackham Graduate School to offer a safe space for LGBTQ+ students to experience the coming-of-age tradition. 

At some prom events, students can be expected to adhere to heteronormative school rules, with some schools banning same-sex couples or those who wish to dress in their correct gender from attending. 

As per the National School Climate Survey, 26.5 per cent of students reported that their schools prevented students from attending a school event with a date of the same gender. Furthermore, 71.5 per cent of LGBTQ+ students said they avoid dances like prom often or frequently.

But organisers wanted to reclaim the narrative for LGBTQ+ young people at the university by offering them a dedicated Prom event. 

Macie Richardson, a member of the Spectrum Center’s staff, told The Michigan Daily: “A lot of Queer students have interesting relationships with prom. Maybe they didn’t have the best experience at their high school prom, so I think it’s really important for us to have an opportunity to have a good experience with a prom-like atmosphere.”

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The event saw a large dance floor, a photo booth for those all-important prom memories, as well as tarot card readings and a drag performance set. Inclusivity was also an important part of the event, ensuring that extra measures were met for those with additional needs. 

“We always think about accessibility,” Richardson said to the outlet. “We have a quiet room upstairs for people who might get overwhelmed during the event.”

The prom marked just one of the organised events for the LGBTQ+ community at the university. As part of the University of Michigan’s Pride Month 2024, the centre organised a queer art showcase, a zine-making workshop and a bisexual boba and board games event.