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Grand Valley State University's Beacon Since 1963, Allendale, MI
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Supermaket themed Pride Prom to donate canned goods to local food pantry

Usually canned food items, shelves and boxes are found in grocery stores and supermarkets. This Friday, they will be found in Grand Valley State University’s Pere Marquette Room as Out ‘N’ About holds a supermarket-themed dance.

On April 4 at 7 p.m., the Out ‘N’ About club will host its annual Pride Prom, an event described as a dance that will serve as a “safe space where people of all backgrounds can be themselves.”

“Many people weren’t able to dress the way they wanted or to act according to their identity in high school,” said Scott Trumbo, the treasurer of Out ‘N’ About. “Pride Prom gives an avenue for (people) to be how they want to be.”

Since Out ‘N’ About is one of GVSU’s oldest cultural organizations, Pride Prom, itself, is an event that has been on campus for quite a few years. Past themes have been Candyland, black and white movies, and the ’80s.

The theme of this event is “supermarket,” and Out ‘N’ About will be accepting non-perishable food items to give to Feeding America West Michigan, a local food pantry that provides food to kids throughout the year.

Though there is no donation required to get in, any will be accepted and will actually be used as decoration on the shelves that will be set up around the room. Attendees will be adding to the decor of the dance just by donating.

“We’re excited to fill up the shelves,” said Out ‘N’ About President Leslie Boker.

Though Pride Prom is put on by an LGBT organization, that does not mean that one needs to be a member of the LGBT community to attend the event.

“We really pride ourselves on (having) a no-pressure environment,” Trumbo said.

All students are welcome and encouraged to come.

“I just want that to be available for everyone,” Boker said. “A safe space and safe communication, interpersonal support for problems that most people don’t have to think about. (We) also (want) to promote understanding within those people.”

Trumbo agreed with Boker and said that Pride Prom will be a way to show others that the organization can cut loose and have fun, just like everyone else can.

“I hope other cultural groups come and party with us, continue to make connections and (promote) cooperation,” Trumbo said.

There is no dress code for Pride Prom; both Trumbo and Boker said they’ve seen people in jeans and T-shirts as well as in complete formal wear — and everywhere in between.

“People keep asking us what to wear, but the point of Pride Prom is that you can wear whatever you want,” Trumbo said.

For more information about the Pride Prom, visit the organization’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/gv.outnabout.



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