On May 27, the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum ( MFACM ) in Pilsen hosted the first 'Noche de Arco Iris: Queer Prom 2005.' The event was presented by Homofrecuencía, Chicago's Spanish-language radio program for LGBTQ youth, which airs on Radio Arte. Approximately 100 people accepted the invitation to dress up, mingle, and most of all dance.
In a brief address, Carlos Tortolero, MFACM president, said, 'We are honored to have you here tonight. You are always welcome here.' Jorge Valdivia, general manager and founding producer of Homofrecuencía, acted as master of ceremonies along with colleague Tania Unzueta. They introduced a series of student performers who took turns entertaining the crowd with drag skits and dance numbers.
A contest for King and Queen of the Prom saw a handful of young men and women entering either category. The winners were acclaimed by repeated popular applause and cheer. Performer Giovanca was named queen and a boy called Rafa took the king's crown. They were asked to share the evening's first dance but were soon joined by dozens of others. When almost everyone had invaded the stage and dance floor, a pair of women police officers peeked in. They stayed around for a little while, smiling and tapping their feet to the music, apparently delighted at the sight of a room full of LGBTQ teenagers having a good time.
For LGBTQ students wanting to bring a same-sex date to their school's dance, Lambda Legal has produced a document entitled 'Eight questions and answers about your rights at prom.' It covers issues of gender-specific dress codes, harassment, parental permission, safety, and others. While the advice it provides is based both on statutes and legal precedents, it remains clear and offers simple ways to negotiate with school officials, chaperons, and fellow students.
To view the Lambda Legal document, go to www.lambdalegal.org/cgi-bin/iowa/news/fact.html?record=1700