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 Calgarians 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.

“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

A statement from Deputy Commissioner Curtis Zablocki, commanding officer of the Alberta RCMP

‘It is our hope that Albertans can see how very important it is to follow all health orders issued and will choose to do so willingly’

Red Deer County has three new confirmed COVID-19 cases

Government says Alberta up to 1,181 total cases

All playgrounds within the County of Stettler borders are temporarily closed

The move is in response to health and safety recommendations due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Rimbey textile artists creating hand-made masks

Group has also been helped out by a local business

Stettler Emergency Services personnel will be doing an ‘appreciation parade’

Event is to show appreciation to both front line and essential workers in Stettler

A Message From the Publisher – ‘We will do our best, but without local advertising revenue, The Stettler Independent cannot survive’

‘We will do our best, but without local advertising revenue, The Stettler Independent cannot survive’

‘The Charter still applies’: Canadians urged to monitor civil liberties during pandemic

Civil rights advocates say citizens need to be vigilant about how authorities are using new powers

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

A message from Central Alberta Co-op

Please remember to practice social distancing at all our locations.

Trudeau announces more financial help for country’s most vulnerable

$40 million will go to Women and Gender Equality Canada

Feds pulled between bailing out oil and gas and moving to cleaner energy

Number of national environment organizations demanding no cash be spent to help oil companies

The inexact science involved in predicting the likely path of COVID-19

Staying home could be the difference between 6,000 deaths by April 30 or 1,600 deaths

Pandemic has shunted aside an array of Liberal initiatives, at least for now

It seems any fresh ideas will now have to find space in an already jammed queue

Most Read