The USF Pride Alliance has been hosting its Equality Prom every year for as long as Cristian Rosario can remember. Rosario is P.R.I.D.E’s president, and has been a part of the club for five years.
As the organization has been around since 1974, there isn’t anyone currently involved who can tell how far back this tradition spans. However, tonight, for the first time in the club’s history, it will be combining the dance with its fourth annual drag/variety show.
This contest was originally intended to be held earlier in the month on March 2, but only two people had signed up to perform.
“Myself and the E-board didn’t see the point in spending a lot of money on an event that would last 30 minutes,” Rosario said.
The Equality Prom is held every spring semester in March, so the E-board figured they could combine both occasions. They also decided to keep the speakeasy theme they had arranged for the drag/variety show to give the night a “1920’s club feel.”
The dance starts tonight at 7 in MSC 2708. The first hour is set aside as a meet-and-greet portion for the guests, and the drag/variety show is scheduled for 8. After the winners are crowned, which should be around 9:20 p.m. according to Rosario, dinner will be served. The entire night is slated to go until 11 p.m.
There are currently six acts on the agenda for tonight, consisting of both club members and non-club members.
The speakeasy theme will be apparent in the decorations and activities planned, such as a 1920’s car cut-out, jazz trio silhouettes and feathers and boas and fedoras for partygoers to take pictures in.
“Most of our dances are our biggest events every year,” Rosario said. “This is definitely a more popular event because who doesn’t like a dance?”
For attendees, this occasion is meant to be more than a fun celebration. Rosario stated that one of the purposes of the prom is “to promote a safe space for anyone and everyone to be able to come.” He mentioned that this includes people who wish to dance with their partners without feeling discriminated against.
“Everyone really loves it, and they have a great time,” Rosario said. “They say that they always feel welcome and safe, and they’re always excited for the next year.”
He went on to say that people who want to show up shouldn’t bother themselves with dressing to match the theme, as the important thing is that they come out to enjoy themselves and support the P.R.I.D.E. Alliance.