CHARLOTTE, N.C. — North Carolina’s most prominent LGBTQ youth organization will revitalize its prom tradition on April 21 with a popular theme; the Harry Potter Prom allows LGBTQ youth and allies from in and around the Charlotte area to enjoy an age-old tradition with a memorable twist.

Time Out Youth (TOY) has been holding an annual prom for LGBTQ youth and allies since the first few years of the organization’s birth in 1991. Last year’s prom hosted more than 370 youth from North and South Carolina, and TOY staff expects even more attendees this year. Each event is designed to provide a safe and inclusive environment for teens to celebrate a landmark moment in their lives.

“This year, more than ever, an LGBTQ prom is important to show our youth that they are important and we stand behind them,” said TOY Executive Director Rodney Tucker. “Prom is a milestone in a young person’s life, and we are committed to making the Harry Potter Prom an evening to remember.”

The memorable night will include magical surprises — compliments of the Charlotte Harry Potter Alliance — as well as drag performer Shelita Bonet Hoyle and music by DJ Michael Finch. Attendees may dress for prom, or in Harry Potter themed attire, and there will be free prom photography by Stutts Photography. It is a chaperoned, drug- and alcohol-free event.

Prom will be held April 21 at 7 p.m. at the Van Landingham Estate (2010 The Plaza, Charlotte). Tickets are $5 in advance and $10 at the door, but aid is available for youth who cannot pay. If you would like to sponsor entry for young people who could not otherwise afford to attend, see the Time Out Youth website and write “Youth Prom Tickets” in the dedication line.

“Many volunteers and sponsors make this event possible, and we are thankful that they share their time and talent with our youth,” said Tucker.

The organization is also seeking donations of canned soda and bottled water for the event. These contributions can be brought to the current TOY office at 2320 N. Davidson Street in Charlotte.