CHARLESTON, S.C. — We Are Family, a Charleston, S.C.-based resource for LGBTQ youth, recently hosted a queer prom. Billed on the organization’s website as The Charleston Queer Prom 2019, the theme was “Enchanted.” Students were encouraged to “come dressed in your full fairytale realness or your prom best.” The special night took place at the Redux Contemporary Art Center in Charleston.

“Enchanted” marks the fourth annual Queer Prom hosted by We Are Family. The event was open to all middle school and high school students (no matter their sexuality or gender-identity). Besides providing a safe space for the youth to express themselves, attendees were provided with food catered by a professional chef, signature “mocktails” and a magical craft station. Admission to the event was free thanks to donations and was co-sponsored by Closet Case Thrift.

We Are Family has provided support, resources, and leadership development opportunities to LGBTQI youth and straight allies since 1995.

The importance of the prom experience for LGBTQI youth is summed up by GLAAD in their Prom Resource Kit, a resource for journalists to cover these proms with sensitivity, since prom is such a right of passage for many students. Too often, coverage consists of the controversies that can still arise around acceptance of queer youth at school sanctioned proms and not the experience of the attending youth.

“Enchanted” follows Charlotte’s Time Out Youth Center’s prom “Rock the Red Carpet” event, which took place on April 26. According to Time Out Youth’s website over 400 youth attended.