The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Senior Prom returned with an anniversary soiree curated for LGBTQ+ older adults, drawing hundreds to Friendship Auditorium on the last day of Pride Month. This year’s event took on special meaning, celebrating 25 years of a tradition for those unable to experience (or enjoy) their own high school proms.
“Senior Prom was created right at the beginning of our Senior Services program as a way of giving people the opportunity to re-do their prom,” says Director of Senior Services Kiera Pollock. “Most of our older adults didn’t get to go to prom with the person that they would have chosen—it wasn’t safe for them. So we have Senior Prom every year to give folks the opportunity to go with their chosen partners and give that experience to the community.”
Senior Prom was created to give LGBTQ+ older adults the chance to attend prom as their authentic selves. (Photos by Jordyn Doyel)
The gender-neutral royal court was honored with crowns and roses. (Photos by Jordyn Doyel)
The night’s entertainment included music, dancing, and performances by Senior Services programs. (Photos by Jordyn Doyel)
Attendees donned their best black and white attire for the 25th anniversary celebration. (Photos by Jordyn Doyel)
Royal court titles are bestowed to the night’s oldest attendees. (Photos by Jordyn Doyel)
“I think for them, the number one goal is to dance and be together,” says Director of Senior Services Kiera Pollock. (Photos by Jordyn Doyel)
One of the night’s performers brought the crowd to their feet with her rendition of Tina Turner’s greatest hits. (Photos by Jordyn Doyel)
The night’s live entertainment included musical performances by Senior Services staff members, a tap dance number led by students of the senior tap dancing class, and a DJ spinning hits from throughout the decades. One of the goals this year was to integrate Senior Services participants into the entertainment and planning. “Coming out of COVID, it was really special to give people the chance to contribute to the programming,” Pollock says.
A gender-neutral royal court was crowned later in the night and in effort to dismantle ageism, the titles were bestowed to the two oldest individuals in attendance (who haven’t been crowned before). As guests showered the court in roses like the finale stage during Sasha Velour’s iconic RuPaul’s Drag Race performance. But the evening’s highlight came after dinner, when guests took to the floor for a dance with the partner of their choice.
“I think for them, the number one goal is to dance and be together,” added Pollack. Senior Prom was made possible by the support of partners Tiffany & Co., Angel City FC, Charlotte’s Web, Sprinkles Cupcakes, and Blue Bottle Coffee.