Party Haus

PHOTOS: Long Island Gay Teens Enjoy A Rite Of Passage At A Prom Of Their Own

A coming-of-age Constance McMillen would be proud of, the 12th annual Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth (LIGALY) Prom took place June 14 at the Historical Thatched Cottage in Centerport, New York. More than 150 LGBT teens mingled, danced and took photos to celebrate with their peers. LIGALY held the nation’s first suburban gay prom back in 2001, providing out kids the chance to take part in this very American rite of passage without fear of harassment or judgement. This year, more than just one king and queen got a crown: The Rainbow Royalty Court included six young folks who have demonstrated valiant efforts against homophobia and transphobia in their community. Click through for more images from the LIGALY Prom Photo: Barbara Salva/Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth

The Imperial Court of New York (Left to right:  LIGALY Director of Development Michael Brady, Empress  XXI Ritz Kraka, Empress XXVI Witti Repartee, LIGALY Chief Executive Officer David Kilmnick, LIGALY Chief Operating Officer Robert Vitelli)

The 2012 LIGALY’s Got Big Talent (LGBT) contest winner Emily Winter

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  • Cam

    Hmm, you might have wanted to lead with a photo that doesn’t go boy girl boy girl.

  • Sammy

    To Cam: You shouldn’t assume the gender of those in the picture. I know these young people and you got it wrong!

  • Cam


    Actually I missed the shorter person there.

    But the point was being made “Jokingly” that at a non-hetro prom it would have been nice to lead with a pic of couples. It wasn’t a dig at the kids in the pic, it’s a dig at the editing choice.

    And a special note Sammy, I am going to act like a right winger now. “Sammy, you disagreed with me, I am a victim of discrimination, you are a bully and you are attacking my free speech. LOL

  • 1equalityUSA

    They are all so cute and young. Congratulations on being authentic. I wish for you all success and happiness. Don’t forget to steadily lock 15-20% of your income into retirement. Start now. You’ll never miss the dollars and it will be appreciated later! The earlier you start the better. Youth, you warm the cockles of my heart! Have fun and be safe. Good for you for being truthful about your orientations. Keep your rudders in the water. Love to you all.

  • 1equalityUSA

    Why did my comment get tossed into spam-action? Fix it Queerty-ers, please. Nothing but love. SPAM is nasty and I want nothing to do with it, no matter how well it’s cooked.

  • TJ Parker

    poor kids. they need a better venue …

  • TJ Parker

    The photos do put to rest the stereotype that all gay men have good fashion sense!

  • JBS

    Forgive my cynicism but I do not believe events like these are advancing equal rights or protection for LGBT youth. If anything, this only furthers the stigmas and notions that young gay couples can’t dance among the straights.

    Ross Parks didn’t fight for separate buses. MLK didn’t fight for separate sets of rights. We should not be fighting for separate proms. Challenge authority! Go to a prom with your real date and get kicked out, cursed at, and yelled at for dancing with the same gender. It’s the only way we will ever bring real change.

  • Spike

    Good for them, rather then making it all about themselves and running to the media to complain that the str8t kids wont let them attend their prom wearing what they want and bringing who the want, they held their own. Sometimes separate is the only way to be equal, and that’s OK, life doesn’t have to be a constant battle.

  • Ftt

    @JBS: Have to agree with you. I don’t think making separate proms is going to achieve anything. I don’t believe lgbt people should exclude themselves from the society and create a niche. Life doesn’t have to be a constant battle, but you just can’t give up and say you don’t want equal rights. Besides, I have to say this, not everyone that’s gay fits in the stereotyped category, so don’t assume people would like to have a lgbt only prom….

  • darkorient

    I actually prefer for the gay kids to be able to attend their own proms, among their own friends. But I don’t think it hurts to have a special LGBT prom too. It’s like you have your own gay bar, but you should be able to go to straight bars too.

  • Dan Avery

    Just a reminder, folks: There’s no indication at least some of these kids didn’t attend their schools’ official proms. This was just a fun extracurricular event where LGBT teens could let their hair down and be in the majority for once. As for the choice of images, these were graciously provided by LIGALY—we ran what we were given.

  • Krystle May

    As someone who attended this Prom, I have to point out that it’s not a GLBT ONLY Prom. It’s advertised as GLBT but supporters were also welcomed. the Prom just a guaranteed safe space for young folk to bring whoever they want to bring and not have to worry about whether or not they’re going to get shit. Maybe they want to bring a same sex couple, maybe they want to wear clothes that don’t match gender stereotypes, or maybe they just don’t feel safe at their own school. There are plenty of reasons why someone might need a Prom like this and I’m so happy that LIGALY makes this possible every year. 🙂

  • Sol Invictus


    6 people in the picture and only 5 names listed (Michael Brady, Ritz Kraka, Witti Repartee, David Kilmnick and Robert Vitelli) ._.

  • Scott Gatz


  • Spike

    @JBS: Seriously? Rosa Parks, back of the bus, civil rights?It’s just a prom. Gay or str8t, how significant is a prom a year later, let alone, 2, 3 or 5 years later?

  • JayKay

    Jesus, just go to the real prom you precious little snowflakes.

  • Geoff B

    I honestly see both sides of the arguement. But the happiness in these pictures (and remember a lot of LGBT kids don’t have much to smile about in their daily lives) makes me think it’s worth having this prom.

  • k

    how much more awesome are these kids than the deranged freakshows who lurk in the queerty comments section?

  • Maria

    I agree with JBS, there’s no need for segregation of LGBT youth like this.

    When I was in highschool we had LGBT people at my prom and same sex dancing happened.

  • Kim

    @Maria: Keep in mind, not all places are safe environments for GLBT youth. Some of these kids go to schools where a Prom like this is absolutely needed. For example, the kids who go to Catholic schools that teach them homosexuality is a sin. Could you imagine them trying to take a same sex partner to a school dance and have that turn out well?

  • Bailey

    They look like they are having sooo much fun. I wish I had something like this when I went to my prom. I’m happy for them.

  • Harry

    This is great! I’m so glad to see a prom for LGBT youth. I hope it expands throughout the nation!

  • JBS

    I have to confess, I was not aware many of these people attended their own proms. That’s good. There is nothing wrong with LGBT youth social events like this, so long as it doesn’t serve as a substitute for the real high school prom. High school is a test of our resilience. As awful an experience as it is/was, I feel confronting it makes us stronger and more equal.

  • Raymond

    Not everything has to be a political statement. Sometimes you just want to have fun. I grew up in the fifties. Thank God for today.

Comments are closed.