Dictionary.com defines prom as a formal dance, ideally one held by a class in high school or college at the end of a year. This year that definition will take on a totally different meaning thanks to the Transinclusive Group.
They are taking the lead by creating the first ever LGBT TransInclusive Prom; the event will take place on August 26, at the Roadway Inn located in Fort Lauderdale. Getting dressed, looking fierce, and dancing to Beyoncé in high heels is exactly what the doctor ordered, considering what the trans community has been through as of late. Thanks President Trump.
TransInclusive is a Trans Led Action Support Group. As an organization, their mission and values are to basically minimize disparities in healthcare, education, housing and employment opportunities, in addition to lifting discrimination while focusing on social equality for the LGBT community.
SFGN spoke with Carson Graham and Tatianna Braxton who serve as event directors and co-founders of the TransInclusive Group.
“Before we had the TransInclusive Group, there was the organization Trans Women In Need of Services,” the organization started in 2016, mentioned Braxton. “When I started doing work in the community for trans women, especially trans women of color, I discovered that our population was underserved. As I continued working, I noticed that issues in the trans community were bigger than just trans women. When I joined the Transgender Health and Advisory Group, I then met Carson who is trans male. We came together to brain storm, and that’s how the TransInclusive came about.”
Prom should be a joyous time, many view proms as a celebration of the end of the school year, and some view it as a popularity contest, while most view it as a traditional “rights of passage.” This is not the case for many LGBT students or adults. For years, high schools have put strict stipulations on prom and attire. We know that prom can get out of control, and we understand that the school districts are trying to establish rules in order to alleviate controversy. More often than not, the rules tend to be less forgiving of flamboyant attire, especially when it comes to transgenders.
“As a group we felt that it was important to have this prom so that people can go as their real authentic selves,” said Graham. “We wanted to make sure that all the letters especially the ‘T’ was represented. “Our mission was to create a safe place for them to be themselves and have a really good time.” Braxton chimed in by saying, “I did not go to my prom, I wasn’t fortunate enough to go. At that time, I was not in a space where I was comfortable to even go as a male or female.”
So what can you expect? All are welcome. There are no age restrictions. Although this prom is non-traditional, there will still be a king and queen crowned. There will also be an elegant dinner, a photo booth, live entertainment from some of the finest queens this side of the equator. Be prepared to be wowed by Tayanna Love, Selena Jimenez, April Chanel, Melissa Hilton, Nikki Blaque, and Calypso Monroe Lords. Sponsors include Lips in Fort Lauderdale, Care Resource, Sun Serve, and The Pride Center. DJ Young Mal will be on hand to keep the crowd energized.
One of the most exciting elements of the evening will come from the red carpet commentary. Seeing as though this is the first annual TransInclusive Prom, they have trusted red carpet hosting duties to Jsa Jsa, and popular transgender singer, activist, actress, and reality TV personality Rajee.
When asked about ensembles for the evening Tatianna was happy to share, “I’m going to be in a long flowy gown, giving you Jessica rabbit”, she laughs. Carson on the other hand remained coy, “ I like to surprise people, I can’t give too much away.”
In times when the world is divided and filled with turmoil, it’s refreshing to see members of the LGBT community come together in unity for woman and mankind. “Take advantage of this opportunity,” encouraged Carson. “Come as yourself, its nothing like being in the room with people that can relate to you and can share some of their stories or experiences with you.”