SAN MARCOS – A burst of color and pride flags decorated Palomar’s Student Union during the second annual Queer Pride event, but the star of the show was the Queer Prom.
Palomar’s Queer Pride Event occurred on May 10 on the San Marcos campus. The event lasted all day, including resource booths, morning speeches, an afternoon drag show, and an evening prom event. And while the event was Palomar’s second queer pride event, it was the first time the school had hosted a prom. And the prom was the event most attendees were most excited for.
As the crowd grew around the stage, Abbie Cory took her place at the podium. Cory, the chair of the Pride Center, gave the first speech and highlighted the resiliency within the queer community through the decades. American Indian studies professor Diana Ortiz and President/Superintendent Dr. Star Rivera-Lacey also gave speeches to support the queer community on campus.
After the speeches, faculty members, including Cory and Dr. Rivera-Lacey, raised the pride flag together with the United States and California flags. As the pride flag flew in the early afternoon wind, Cory informed the attendees that the drag show was about to start in the student union. As the morning event began to subside, many attendees couldn’t wait for the prom occurring in the afternoon.
The Queer Prom began at 4 p.m. and featured a red carpet at the entrance, a spot to get professional pictures taken, refreshments including a chocolate fountain, and music to get the party started. Riley Minteer, a Palomar Student and Pride Center Member, was the DJ of the event. His set consisted of current hits, classic songs, and more to create a fun and inviting atmosphere for the students attending.
Brooke Brodman, a Palomar Student and Pride Center member, was attending the prom event. Like many of the students attending, she was dressed up and ready to socialize. Brodman’s energy could be felt throughout the room, and she chatted with many other students attending the event. Her friends gathered around two tables to discuss and enjoy the refreshments.
“I graduated during COVID, so I didn’t even get a real prom, to begin with,” Brodman said. “So this is kinda my only shot, so I’m having fun… And everyone looks so pretty.”
Jacob Miller and his boyfriend, Brendan Kempka, attended the event. The pair dressed to impress and posed for pictures, chatting with friends.
“I feel like it’s a union between the family that is the Pride Center,” Miller said. “Unifying people together, bringing in new members of the family and all around having a good time. It’s all about our pride.”
Feeling like family was a focal talking point at the event, and the overall atmosphere made the event feel more like a family get-together than a formal dance. Dr. Star Rivera-Lacey also talked about family feelings created by the Pride Center.
“People need to feel a sense of belonging, that the college appreciates them and that this is their home,” Dr. Rivera-Lacey said. “With the hatred that happens in the world and some of discrimination and bigotry, we want to make sure folks don’t feel that when they’re at Palomar College… I hope that they remember that they felt like family here and that they’re loved.”
The pride flag raised during the event will remain on the flag pole at the San Marcos campus, and the pride flags raised at all other Palomar campuses. Dr. Rivera-Lacey believes it’s a symbol to show the queer community that Palomar is here to support them.
- Brooke Brodman: Cynthia Cunningham/The Telescope | All Rights Reserved
- Brendan and Jacob: Cynthia Cunningham/The Telescope | All Rights Reserved
- Dr. Star Lacey Rivera: Cynthia Cunningham/The Telescope | All Rights Reserved
- Booths set up for the Queer Pride event.: Cynthia Cunningham/The Telescope | All Rights Reserved