Pride Prom

The inaugural Pride Prom at the Hyatt Regency hotel featured Big Freedia, who will return this year for the second annual event for LGBT young people age 16-20.

LGBT teens in New Orleans will have the chance to dance to Big Freedia and participate in a catwalk at the Pride Prom Fri., May 10, free of charge — for the second year in a row.

“We have several people respond to us that [last year’s prom] was the most fun that they've ever had,” said organizer Leslie Ellis, who is a member of the Hyatt Regency hotel's LGBT employee-networking group, HyPride. “To see how amazing of an event it was, we all were immediately on board to do it again.”

The second annual event for LGBT youth ages 16-20 will take place at the Hyatt Regency (601 Loyola Ave)  from 8 p.m. to midnight.

The night’s lineup includes classic prom portraits and a “strut-off” where attendees can walk the runway in a friendly competition to win non-gender specific crowns. Hyatt and local restaurants will provide free food — including a sushi bar — and non-alcoholic beverages.

Marc Behar, a local chiropractor and member of Jewish Pride NOLA, originally came to HyPride with the idea for the Pride Prom. They teamed up with PFLAG New Orleans, health care clinic CrescentCare and the Louisiana chapter of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) to turn the event into a reality last year. Freedia also performed at the inaugural prom.

“We had a bunch of participants in all of our organizations that have gotten feedback that there are still high school students that can't attend prom,” Ellis said. “Because New Orleans is such a private-school community and Catholic-school community, there are still kids that can't go to prom with their date.”

Local LGBT organizations also will attend to offer resources and giveaways to attendees. PFLAG will provide information to students looking to attend college about scholarships they offer, ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.

Ellis said last year’s attendance exceeded expectations and they are expecting it to be higher this year. Organizers had expected 75 students to come, but around 250 showed up. With more sponsors and community recognition, they’re expecting between 350-500 attendees for the 2019 prom.

Reservations are required and can be made online.