“C’mon everyone don’t be shy! We only get this once a year!” DJ Sticky Fingers, a.k.a second-year media studies major Maya Perez, commanded at USF’s first Queer Prom. Students donned extravagant outfits inspired by the theme of “Old Hollywood” and danced the night away to a playlist stocked with 80’s icons ABBA and up-and-comer Ice Spice, and vogued to songs by queer icons like SOPHIE and RuPaul. Three groups that are a part of the queer support and empowerment group, Qmmunity — Breaking Bread and the Binary, Queer Safety and Education in Nursing club, and Black Rainbow Party — collaborated to host the event.
Qmmunity founder Ella Quinn (she/they) watched in excitement as attendees strutted in, dripping with vintage glamor. Quinn and their club members complimented guests with the snap of their fingers and hand-blown kisses. Quinn explained the importance of having a second shot at prom. “I think that a lot of queer people don’t feel like they got to be themselves at their prom that they had at high school because of clothing or just who they wanted to go with,” they said. “I think having this space for them to have that experience is really important.”
ALL PHOTOS BY TALEAH JOHNSON/SF FOGHORN
Moss Gilliam (he/they), a first-year media studies major, has always felt “at home” wearing suits and blazers but tonight’s inspiration was their older brother. “[My brother] used to thrift a bunch of suits and stuff and go to school in them,” Gilliam said. “This was back in the 90’s so he was really trying to subvert expectations of Black people and be like “Yeah, I’m a f—king scholar.”
Egan Walker (he/she), a first-year English major, was not inspired by Old Hollywood, but by lead singer Gerard Way from the alternative band, My Chemical Romance. “It’s like an office worker who had a fatal injury and/or killed someone, so that’s the energy,” he said. Walker used glue, glitter, and sequins for the finishing touches on her shoes.
Diana Seelinger (she/her), first-year biology major, paired a ruffled baby pink dress with a delicate straw hat. She was dressed by her friend Isabelle Novo (she/her), a first-year environmental studies major, who bought both outfits second-hand. When asked about their inspiration, Seelinger chirped “Strawberry!” Novo described her inspiration as “Lolita-style,” but said that, “We wanted to do strawberry and chocolate.”
Issa Maselli (they/them), a fourth-year fine arts major, said, “I hand be-dazzled the dress and arm warmers myself to match and I got the dress from a vintage store in San Diego.” Maselli said that it took hours to complete their look. “It was worth it,” they said proudly.