Ringing in the end of a Pride-filled summer, KZEL was honoured to sponsor Qmunity’s 2022 Queer Prom event for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth. Qmunity is a Vancouver-based non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. From individual counselling and peer-support groups, to educational and leadership empowerment programs, Qmunity provides a safe landing space for community members and allies. Special events are one aspect of Qmunity’s outreach and their annual Queer Prom is one of a long list of unique engagements.
Conjuring up images of a Midsummer Night’s Dream, this year’s prom theme was “Woodland Fairies.” Held at Performance Works on Granville Island, the space was transformed into a dreamy woodland setting, filled with music, dancing, art and some truly fabulous performances by local drag artists. A team of MAC cosmetics artists set up a station for any attendees wanting some added glamour or drama to their looks. The photo booth was in heavy rotation throughout the evening, capturing pocket-sized mementos of the fun.
One group of queer youth told organizers it was their first experience seeing a drag performance and it did not disappoint! Seeing the confidence of the performers and connecting with them offstage made a huge impact on the prom-goers. In a society still haunted by the harmful rhetoric of staying “in the closet” or policies supporting “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the drag culture embraces individuality and self-love on centre stage. Seeing that example provided a powerful lift of positivity for the entire audience. The joy felt as tangible as the queens’ sequinned costumes.
The night captured the essence of what Qmunity stands for: that 2SLGBTQIA+ youth need and deserve spaces of love and acceptance. Empowerment and resilience-building is a big part of Qmunity’s mission, but those pieces must always be accompanied by moments of joy and levity. This prom provided just that for a few hours, where the sometimes harsh attitudes of the outside world were kept away. Instead, the revelry played out against the backdrop of a banner with a simple and powerful message: “You Belong Here.”
KZEL remains committed to supporting Qmunity and other organizations that provide vital services to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in a variety of capacities. We feel strongly about carrying that advocacy through to the community we are privileged to practice within.