Party for a Good Cause at Out Youth’s Second Chance Prom
Annual dance supports local nonprofit’s LGBTQ youth services
By Beth Sullivan,
1:35PM, Wed. Mar. 27, 2019
Don those shoulder pads, lace up those bright-white Keds, and tease that hair higher than yer fave queen on RuPaul’s, because Out Youth’s Eighties-themed Second Chance Prom is back again for another year, dear qweehs.
Local queer youth nonprofit Out Youth dreamed up its first-ever Second Chance Prom in 2016 for LGBTQ folks over the age of 21 seeking a more inclusive prom experience than that of their high school years. “Growing up, our older donors weren’t able to have the prom experience that they wanted,” Out Youth Development Coordinator and chief Second Chance Prom wrangler Briona Jenkins explains. “So we really wanted to hone in on that and give them the opportunity to either create new prom memories or relive old prom memories with their new partners and be able to bring who they want.”
Now in its fourth year, the Eighties-themed celebration takes place Saturday, March 30, at its new, more spacious digs at 800 Congress, which Jenkins hopes will allow for even more attendees than last year’s estimated 230. Other exciting new features include a complimentary open bar, plus a “heavy Eighties-themed mix” (plus contemporary tunes, Jenkins assures) spun by local turntable trickster DJ Lolo. Fixtures from previous years, like a photo booth, bites by Crave Catering, and the infamous drag court return for another glamtastic evening.
It’s “a night of dancing, drag queens, drinks, and lights” that attracts folks from all over Texas and the U.S., offers Jenkins, who says she’s seen people make the trip from Houston, San Antonio, and as far away as New York. While the event is geared toward an older generation (Jenkins estimates last year’s oldest attendee was most likely in their sixties), she says the younger generation can and does enjoy the festivities as well. The event, says Jenkins, gives folks a “chance to have a night out with friends, and we make it known that yes, it’s prom, but you can bring a friend, a partner, or you can meet someone there,” she explains. “It’s just a really good way to socialize and for the community to come together.”
Memory- and merrymaking aside, Saturday night’s party is for a good cause, too: A portion of the proceeds will go toward Out Youth’s annual Youth Prom scheduled for April 13. Since the nonprofit’s inception in 1990, Out Youth – which serves Central Texas youth of all orientations and gender identities – has hosted the dance for members of the LGBTQ community ages 12-18. In collaboration with Austin Pride, Austin Black Pride, and AIDS Services of Austin’s The Q, Out Youth is currently hosting a clothing drive for youth-sized prom-esque attire that will be available for attendees during “pre-prom” festivities, which allows youth to prep for the dance in a safe, inclusive environment, which Jenkins reveals will feature hair, makeup, and styling assistance to boot.
But for the 21 and up crowd, it’s Second Chance Prom that offers an opportunity for qmmunity members – and their allies, Jenkins adds – to party it up with like-minded people who are “really excited to have a night out with their friends and loved ones and also give back to the youth we serve.” So seize the day and live that prom you never got to experience.
Out Youth’s Youth Prom takes place Sat., April 13, at 1952 Bailey Ln. from 6-10pm. Free. Pre-prom happens prior to the dance; please contact Kathryn Gonzales at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.