Gay prom for local teens set for April 30

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Middle Tennessee’s gay and lesbian teenagers will get their chance to celebrate a high school yearly right-of-passage at their own prom.

The 2005 Middle Tennessee Gay & Lesbian Alternative Prom, which is in its fourth year, will allow prom goers to celebrate "night in Paris" where the young men and woman will enjoy the atmosphere of a Paris sidewalk café.

One-In-Teen Youth Services, Inc., a Nashville-based non-profit youth agency serving sexual minority/GLBTQ youth, has planned the event, which is set for Saturday, April 30 from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. at The Onyx Room (624 Jefferson Street) near downtown Nashville.

"The evening celebrates a traditional rite of passage for teens without the shadow of judgment and discrimination that many GLBT youth feel at their school prom" said DeWayne Fulton, program director for One-In-Teen. "Over seventy youth attended last years Prom and planners are hoping attendance will reach 100 participates this year."

The prom is open to all GLBTQ youth, ages 14 to 20, as well as members of local school-based Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs). This year’s event is made possible by the generous donations of Prom Sponsors including Frances Bledsoe, LCSW, Carlton Cornett, LCSW, and  Robert McNamara.

Tickets for the Prom may be purchased at OutLoud! Books and Gifts, 1713 Church Street. Because of the support offered by Prom Sponsors, this year’s ticket price will be $6.  The Alternative Prom, like all events organized by One-In-Teen, will be alcohol and drug-free. Formal attire is encourage, but not required. Youth attending the prom are asked to dress as they would for an evening on the town. 

The Onyx Room is a new site for the Alternative Prom. 

"We are very excited about having the Prom at The Onyx Room," said Robert McNamara, prom coordinator. "It is a beautiful space in a historic building which includes a balcony that offers a romantic view of Downtown Nashville and the Bicentennial Mall."

The Onyx Room is located on the edge of the historic Germantown Neighborhood and is across Jefferson Street from the Bicentennial Mall. The event will be staffed by volunteer adult chaperons and paid security personnel. 

For more information on the Alternative Prom, visit the One-In-Teen Youth Services Web site, www.one-in-teen.org, or call 615-321-7288 and leave a message.