Tampa-P.R.I.D.E. Alliance will be hosting a Gay Prom on April 25 in the Marshall Student Center ballroom from 7 to 11 p.m.
The P.R.I.D.E. Alliance web site said, “We welcome all people from all walks of life to come enjoy a night of peace and tolerance.”
P.R.I.D.E. Alliance was started in 1974 and according to their web site they are “the oldest continuously funded gay student organizations in the state of Florida.”
P.R.I.D.E. stands for People Respecting Individual Diversity and Equality. Because discrimination and hate crimes against same-sex couples still exist today, many teens don’t feel comfortable attending prom as a same-sex couple.
Some of the reasons teens might not have attended prom as a same-sex couple can be attributed to the fear of being harassed or they were told by their school that they could not attend with a same-sex date, said About.com. “If you go to public school in the United States then you are legally allowed to bring a same-sex date to prom because you are protected by the First Amendment right to expression.”
According to reports done by the U.S. District Court in Rhode Island in 1980, Aaron Fricke sued his principal Richard Lynch because he would not let him attend prom with a male companion Paul Guilbert. Fricke won the case and helped pave the way for same-sex couples acround the country.
P.R.I.D.E. Alliance is giving same-sex couples a second chance to attend prom and not be afraid to be themselves. P.R.I.D.E. Alliance is part of the multicultural community on campus and works with the Office of Multicultural Affairs to provide LGBTQ students on campus with an environment that they feel safe in. The groups works with the Safe Zone, which is a diversity certificate program that educates individuals about the LGBTQ experience.