Originally published: April 23, 2013, 9:58 a.m.
Updated: April 23, 2013, 12:38 p.m.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Community members who had planned on attending an adult prom event planned by and postponed by The LGBT Community Center of Charlotte announced today that they are holding their own event on Friday, April 26, 9 p.m.-2 a.m., at L4 Lounge, 2906 Central Ave.
“We do support the center and L4 supports the center,” said Darrell Goldson, who is working to quickly organize the new event. “This is simply for the people who have already spent money and are disappointed with the fact that the prom has been postponed with no rescheduled date.”
The center had announced on Monday that its prom event, envisioned as an event for all ages and for those LGBT community members who couldn’t attend their high school proms, was being postponed due to a family illness of one of the event’s coordinators.
Goldson said he had heard rumors the event might be cancelled for weeks. He reached out to the center on Monday regarding those rumors. As a result, the center confirmed later that day that event was postponed.
“We apologize for any inconvenience that the postponement may cause our participants, but we want to make sure that the persons who proposed and organized the event are able to see the project become a reality, so we think it’s best to postpone it,” the organization announced.
Roberta Dunn, vice chair of the center’s board of trustees, said the center’s prom will be rescheduled but that a date has not yet been finalized. Tickets to the event had been sold for $25. Those who would like refunds for ticket purchases, she said, can email email@example.com. Proceeds would have benefited the center.
Dunn also said she wasn’t aware of L4 Lounge or Goldson’s efforts to organize a new event. She said she would speak to center chair Scott Coleman to see if the center could support or promote the new event.
Goldson said the new event at L4 Lounge is meant to accommodate those who had already planned on attending the event and spent money toward tux rentals, babysitting and other logistics.
“I don’t think everybody should be out of money,” he said.
Goldson had planned on bringing as many as 20 friends to the event. For some, the event was very personal.
“This affects people deeply,” he said. “I went to my prom. I was able to take my boyfriend. My current husband was not. Out of 20 people I’m going with, I’m the only one who went to prom with his boyfriend. Everyone else had to go traditionally with a friend or a girlfriend. People from the transgender community in my group were planning to be able to go as their authentic self. People were very excited.”
Goldson said he wishes the best for the center coordinator’s family member. “If someone is sick, I wish them well, of course, but business is business. The show has to go on. If a DJ cancels last minute, you don’t stop the show. You scramble and get another DJ. You don’t cancel an event, especially, four days before the event.”
The L4 Lounge prom will feature entertainment, a DJ, dancing and a drag king contest. Admission is $5, which will be waived for those who present a ticket to the center’s postponed prom. Goldson said L4 Lounge’s owners would also buy center prom ticket-holders their first drink.
The center’s postponement of their prom is the second this month for the organization, which also postponed its “Being Gay-Going Gray” art exhibit. That event was supposed to open on April 12. A new date has not been announced.
The center is currently in a state of transition. Former operations manager O’Neale Atkinson left the organization at the end of March to take a position with Time Out Youth. The center announced last week that it had hired Glenn Griffin to replace Atkinson. Griffin begins work on May 6.
The center’s prom and the new L4 Lounge prom are not related to a similar event planned by Time Out Youth. Their event, for young people ages 13-20, will proceed as scheduled on Saturday, April 27, 7:30-10:30 p.m., at Grand Central, 1000 Central Ave.
I am saddened to hear of an illness within the community center’s staff, however this is no excuse to postpone an event. “The show must go on” is a saying that I think might just be appropriate here. Given the fact that the center has postponed other events ads to the perception that the center is not prepared or professional enough to plan an event that the community can rely on. I am just going to chalk it up as growing pains as the center grows into what ultimately will be a proud, outstanding voice for our community. Will it???
This really isn’t surprising. Getting two queens to agree to anything is always a challenge. Anyone who volunteers in Charlotte can tell you this. It’s the reason many volunteers only show up once, leaving the rest of us to scramble to get the job done.
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