Richard Einarson, right, and his partner Mike Morrison shop for flowers for Saturday’s upcoming ReProm fundraising gala in Calgary on Monday, February 24, 2020. Two decades after going to his high-school prom with his female best friend as a date, Morrison is about to get a re-do.This time, he’ll be on the arm of his boyfriend of eight years, Einarson. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol

ReProm: Second shot for LGBTQ people to enjoy milestone as themselves

Centre for Sexuality, a sexual health not-for-profit in Calgary, is holding its first ReProm fundraising gala

Two decades after going to his high-school prom with his female best friend as a date, Mike Morrison is about to get a re-do.

This time, he’ll be on the arm of his boyfriend of eight years, Richard Einarson.

The Centre for Sexuality, a sexual health not-for-profit in Calgary, is holding its first ReProm fundraising gala on Saturday. It’s a chance for LGBTQ people and their allies to re-experience a teenage milestone as their true selves — something that might not have been possible the first time around.

“I’m really excited. We’re going to do the corsages. We’re going to do the tuxes,” said Morrison, 38.

An adult prom was held in a community centre as part of Regina’s Queen City Pride festivities last year. When Morrison heard about it, he pitched doing something similar with the Centre for Sexuality.

Morrison hadn’t come out when he was in high school in New Brunswick and didn’t know of any classmates who had.

Prom itself doesn’t hold any negative baggage for him, though. He had a great time with his platonic date and they remain close friends.

PHOTOS: 50 years of LGBTQ pride showcased in protests, parades

“While I didn’t have a bad prom memory, I do know that I didn’t have the same one as a straight couple,” said Morrison. “Now I get to go with someone I love and someone I have a family with and someone that I built a life with.”

ReProm is being held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Calgary and will feature a sit-down dinner, themed cocktails, a silent auction, live music, drag performances, a candy buffet and an after-party with a DJ.

“It’s going to be wrapped up in a big old rainbow theme and there’s going to be a few surprises in store that are going to make people’s nights super special,” said Pam Krause, the sexuality centre’s president and CEO.

The event’s website says the dress code is “whatever best expresses your individual self. Go retro or modern. Glitzy or chill.”

Krause, 58, remembers hating the long dress she wore to her original high school prom in Edmonton. She went with a boy so she would fit in, and recalls feeling a mixture of rejection and relief when he ended the night with another girl. Nothing in pop culture at the time suggested to Krause that taking a girl to her prom was an option.

Of ReProm, she said: “Hopefully everybody will have that feeling inside of them that this is the prom they wish they had.”

Tickets are $175 and tables are $2,000. Donors are acting as hosts to LGBTQ community members who wouldn’t otherwise have the means to attend, Krause said.

Proceeds will go toward the Centre for Sexuality’s work with the LGBTQ community such as free counselling for youth and their families.

Adrian Rodriguez and Nick Moore, who have been together for 13 years, are looking forward to enjoying the rite of passage without any anxiety.

Rodriguez, 35, was born in Colombia and went to his high-school prom in Miami with his girlfriend at the time. He couldn’t put into words back then why the experience made him so uncomfortable.

He said there are places in the world where an event like ReProm would be unheard of.

“This is an opportunity for us to go and have fun at this event and also to be out and proud and to show the community that there’s so much more work that needs to be done,” he said.

Moore, 38, grew up in a small town in southwestern Ontario where he would have never felt comfortable asking a boy to the prom.

He said some kids still feel that way.

“You don’t have to look very hard in Alberta to find kids that are struggling with LGBTQ issues in schools. And I think it’s really important that we don’t forget that.”

Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vehicle incident causes Hwy 6 closure and power outages in Slocan Valley

A Thursday afternoon incident has closed the main highway in the Slocan Valley

Emergency dental clinic to open in Nelson during COVID-19 shutdowns

Only people with serious pain, infection, or trauma will be admitted

COVID-19: Interior Health orders closure of all fitness centres until May 30

The order is subject to revision, cancellation, or extension

Outrage over illegal dumping at Nakusp Landfill

Online photo shows garbage bags, cardboard boxes and bottles thrown around landfill container

Don’t avoid doctor’s office if you need help, say Kootenay Boundary physicians

There are alternatives to coming in physically to offices, docs say

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

B.C. health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Tax collectors, auditors to help field ‘historic’ numbers of benefit-seeking callers

‘If you work for CRA, people think we are just there to take money from your pockets.’

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

Advocates sound alarm over COVID-19 limiting access to contraceptives, abortion

The COVID-19 outbreak has hit sexual-health services from almost every angle

Celebrate Easter in a ‘safe way,’ Dr. Henry urges as B.C records 6 new COVID-19 deaths

Top doctor urges British Columbians to halt non-essential travel within the province

B.C. health officer says homemade masks may prevent spread of COVID-19 to others

Practising physical distancing, frequent hand washing and resisting touching your face are proven methods

Most Read