Prince William's Party

Northern Virginia county gets its first GLBT prom

Gail Dickert is not the only person who is enthusiastic about the first annual gay-friendly prom, titled Shatter the Silence 2009, to be held in Virginia’s Prince William County.

”We are staffed with volunteers, and we have had so many people who found out about it ask if they can volunteer,” says Dickert, director of religious education at Bull Run Unitarian Universalists in Manassas, where the dance is being held. ”It’s been a great thing to hear from complete strangers who want to get involved because they’re so excited about the opportunity.”

The event, organized by the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) of Prince William, Bull Run Unitarian Universalist Church, Equality Prince William, and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), is scheduled for 5:30 to 11 p.m., Saturday, April, 18, one day after the national Day of Silence that brings attention to harassment of GLBT students.

Dickert says the idea to host a gay-inclusive prom came from a conversation initiated on Facebook with youths from the Prince William GSA.

”They were discussing it, and I said some youth and adults at the church where I work were asking about, ‘One day we should host a gay-straight prom.’ So, basically, I was having the same conversation with two different groups of people.”

Dickert says there is room for 150 people to attend the prom organized for high school students between 9th and 12th grades. About 40 people have already signed up to attend via the prom’s Facebook site.

”We’re excited and we hope the gay community in Prince William County gets particularly excited about it. But metro-wide this is a good sign for our community, for these kids.”

The Bull Run Unitarian Universalist Church is located at 9350 Main Street, Manassas, Va. Tickets for Shatter the Silence 2009 cost $20. To purchase tickets in advance e-mail dre@bruu.org or call 703-361-6269.

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