Zebra Coalition to host LGBTQ Youth Pride Prom

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: The Zebra Coalition celebrates Come Out With Pride on their float during the parade in downtown Orlando last year. Photo courtesy for Zebra Coalition

ORLANDO | The Zebra Coalition is hosting its first-ever Youth Pride Prom at the Orlando Museum of Art June 22 from 6-10 p.m. for LGBTQ youth ages 14-20.

Zebra is partnering with more than a dozen coalition partners and a youth committee to plan the event.

“Our youth committee and coalition partners decided that for the first year there shouldn’t necessarily be a theme,” says Zebra Coalition Executive Director Heather Wilkie, “but since we are having our first-ever prom during Pride month we thought calling it ‘Pride Prom’ fit perfectly.”

Along with the Orlando Museum of Art, Zebra’s prom coalition partners include the One Orlando Alliance, who is a part of the decorating committee; the Gay-Straight Alliance from Boone High School, who is helping to get the word out to the LGBTQ youth in Central Florida; and Rose Dynasty Foundation, an entertainment company based in Lakeland.

“Rose Dynasty Foundation has access to a lot of drag queens and performers and DJs,” Wilkie says. “They are graciously donating all of their time and talent to help make this an amazing prom for the kids.”

Another coalition partner working with the Zebra Coalition for the Youth Pride Prom is the Central Florida chapter of the Gay Officer Action League (GOAL).

“We know that with an event like this there are some security concerns from a couple of the parents, so several officers with GOAL have volunteered their time for security and chaperoning,” Wilkie says.

The Youth Pride Prom is semi-formal to formal dress and all forms of gender expression are welcome.

“We are saying it is semi-formal to formal but of course you can present however you feel most comfortable,” Wilkie says. “We want to make sure the kids feel comfortable bringing the person they want to bring to prom. Just come, have fun and bring who you want.”

The prom will have food provided by Pom Pom’s Teahouse & Sandwicheria and Se7enbites, as well as desserts donated by Marriott Orlando.

“All the food will be rainbow themed of course for Pride month,” says Wilkie.

The Orlando Museum of Art will also have a selection of art exhibits opened to the youth and the entertainment will consist of drag performances, a lip sync contest and more.

“We are also doing raffle prizes,” says Wilkie. “We have some great organizations that have donated some really cool items for the kids so we will have swag bags as well.”

The Zebra Coalition, in order to make sure every LGBTQ youth is able to attend Pride Prom, has been accepting donations of prom attire so if there is anyone who can’t afford to get an outfit they will have access to some. They will also have aglam committee available the day of prom.

“We are going to have a whole group of some of our local friends, led by onePULSE Foundation’s Nikole Parker, who will be our glam committee. They will be makeup artists and hair stylists who are there to help with any kids who aren’t able to have access to those services,” Wilkie says. “So anyone not able to afford a dress or hair and makeup, go to our website at ZebraYouth.org and you just need to fill out a few questions and we will get you hooked up.”

For those over 20 years old, have no fear. There may be something coming down the pipeline for you too.

“Being a youth organization, we wanted to have the debut be for the kids, butI can tell you we have heard from a lot of adults and they are loving this and want to do it too,” Wilkie says. “So for the adults we are already looking at options to do an adult LGBTQ prom here.”

Youth Pride Prom 2019 is June 22 from 6-10 p.m. at the Orlando Museum of Art. For tickets and more information, visit ZebraYouth.org.

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