Coastal Bend Pride Center LGBTQIA+ Prom enables youths to ‘feel free’


LGBTQIA+ youth in the Corpus Christi area on Saturday were able to experience a prom where they feel comfortable to be themselves at the Coastal Bend Pride Center.

The community center held its fourth annual LGBTQIA+ Youth Prom for teenagers 13 to 18 to kick off Pride Month in the Coastal Bend.

Barton Bailey, director of the Pride Center, said the prom was established four years ago by the Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation to include an activity for LGBTQIA+ youth.

The Coastal Bend Pride Center held it's fourth annual LGBTQIA+ Youth Prom Saturday, June 5, 2021. Two members of the YNOT Coastal Bend organization were nominated for the royalty court.

“I want kids to come and feel free to be themselves,” Bailey said. “I want them to be feel safe to dance with the partner they bring and not feel judgment. I hope they can wear what they want to wear and express themselves the best way they can.”

Its Mighty Extra Masquerade Ball included food, glowsticks, dancing, a prom royalty pair and performances from local drag queens Frankie, Miss Matte and Isis Paris York. The event also included debut performances from two queens Luci with an I and Bonita Flames.

The Coastal Bend Pride Center held it's fourth annual LGBTQIA+ Youth Prom Saturday, June 5, 2021. Miss Matte was one of the local drag queens to perform at the event.

Aneisa Reddy, 16, attended the prom and said she was comfortable to finally say our loud she is lesbian.

“We’re not something to be afraid of, we’re something to support,” Reddy said. “I wish people would see we’re just like them — people.”

Reddy’s friend Ella Blentlinger, also 16, said the prom was the first Pride event she has attended since coming out as lesbian.



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