BY CARLA ALLEN
If laughing, dancing and joy are indicators of a good time, a long-overdue prom on May 11 ranked high on the happiness scale.
Close to 120 attended the event, which was organized by the LGBTQ+ Alliance Centre at the Yarmouth high school. Although the prom was open to anyone, it was especially significant to those who faced stigma in the past because of their sexual orientation.
For those people, it was a time when loneliness and sadness were only amplified.
Board member Dana Osmond says several participants came up to different members of the LGBTQ+ Alliance Centre Yarmouth board to thank them and articulate their gratitude.
“That was so touching, personally, and it really made an impact on my feeling that this work is important, and we can do more for all sectors of our queer family,” she said.
Participants were asked to complete a survey as part of the requirement of one of the grants for the event.
Osmond says they appreciated the thoughtful responses regarding how people within Yarmouth’s queer community see themselves within the lens of a small town, with less resources than places like Halifax or Toronto.
“Mostly along the lines of breaking down barriers and educating the majority of people, the ones who are not LGBTQ+,” she said.
Once organizers decide if the prom will become an annual event, there will be a few tweaks in planning.
“Right now, though, we are focusing on the successes – great attendance, wonderful organization, amazing volunteers, and especially the support of partners like the Yarmouth County Community Health Board and the Town of Yarmouth, who helped us with grants,” said Osmond.