If you ever want to have a brand new prom-in-college experience, Binghamton University’s Rainbow Pride Union (RPU) is hosting “Second Chance Prom,” which will be a queer prom free from discrimination, judgment and expectations.
Tabling for the event has been happening all week since April 28 and will continue on Thursday, May 5, and Friday, May 6 at the Tillman Lobby in the University Union from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets will be sold there as well for a discounted price of $5. Taking place at the Mandela Room this Saturday May 7, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., the event will be open to all students for $10 tickets at the door.
The RPU has been around since 1971. Throughout its many transformations, the mission always remains clear, which is to provide a safe space for queer people on campus and the overall Binghamton community. They do this by hosting events and activities that help cultivate this safe space. Additionally, RPU provides education and awareness on queer issues.
Recently, the RPU has gone through a transformation due to COVID-19. According to Elisheva Ezor, incoming treasurer and a sophomore double-majoring in mathematics and business administration, the COVID-19 pandemic left the E-Board of RPU at square one. Last spring, Juliana Natale, a senior majoring in biology, joined as president and brought her friends to the join soon after. Since then, the club has been building itself back up, such as when they hosted their Drag Me To Hell drag show in April. The drag show was something Ezor found to be an exciting new step for the club.
“It went amazing, it was shocking, we thought it was gonna be so bad,” Ezor said. “That was just an amazing experience for me to be able to create that environment and have people enjoy it, even though it was on a whim, I was really grateful I did.”
Now, Ezor has been working hard on the art and outreach for Second Chance Prom. As part of an enchanted forest theme, there will be gold leaves, green tones, streamers and a fantasy photo booth to fully immerse yourself in the theme. Small posters will also be put everywhere around the Mandela Room to provide more detail to the setting like you are actually walking through different parts of an enchanted forest. Moreover, the normal prom traditions will be present, such as food, drinks, music and dancing.
According to Ezor, Second Chance Prom has two purposes this year. The most important and main reason is as a safe space for queer students to go to a prom where they can celebrate how they wish.
“Either you didn’t go for fear of discrimination or you weren’t able to fully express yourself to wear what you want, go with who you want, free of judgment,” Ezor said.
Second Chance Prom aims to provide that opportunity to queer students. In addition, the event is also particularly important this year as students who missed prom due to the COVID-19 pandemic can finally have their moment.
Ezor said the event’s timing is perfectly fitting for the prom experience.
“An opportunity for you to have something fun on a Saturday and if you wanna go to bed early and do your homework after you can, and if you wanna go out after, what’s more fun than being a fairy and then going out?” Ezor said. “It’s really an opportunity for people to do what they want and what they would do at prom.”