Proud Prom, Worthing Pride’s pre-pride event commemorated 50 years to the day since the Stonewall uprising, raised £500 for the Horsham-based charity, on Friday, June 28.
THE fabulous and glamourous event at The Grand Victorian Hotel, Worthing, attracted a sell-out crowd, attended by Worthing’s newly appointed Mayor, Cllr Hazel Thorpe.
Hosted by the darling of the burlesque and cabaret scene, Dawn Gracie, Prom guests enjoyed the full red carpet arrival, followed by an evening of burlesque, drag artist hilarity, some knock-out vocals from Ms. Gracie and a ‘Studio 54’ style disco.
Proud Prom and Worthing Pride organiser, Keira Thomas, wanted to create an event that typically marks the right of passage for most young straight people and make it inclusive for all. And in doing so, remember the journey the LGBT+ communities have endured over the last 50 years.
Keira said: “The Proud Prom celebrates individuality, as well as offering the ‘Prom’ experience to those who never went to a Prom, or couldn’t go and be their true self. It was unforgettable night, and I thank everyone who supported and help raise £500 for the HOPE Charity Project.”
In true ‘Prom’ style, two ‘Best Dressed Proud Prom Duo’s’ were announced, personally chosen by Worthing’s Mayor, who released a cascade of balloons to music. The delighted winners will be treated to Afternoon Tea with the Mayor, at the Mayors Parlour in Worthing Town Hall.
Mayor Hazel also presented the cheque for monies raised to Claire Sparrow, founder of the HOPE Charity Project.
Claire said: “The Proud Prom was a space full of beautiful, talented and unique people, who I am so grateful for helping raise precious funds, at what was a fantastic evening, celebrating freedom to express yourself and be proud.”
The HOPE Charity Project supports young and vulnerable people, and their families, experiencing trauma, mental health issues, and gender and sexuality acceptance.
Mayor Hazel added: “The Proud Prom was a wonderful night, and it was an honour to support the HOPE Charity Project, such a worthy, important cause. We all need someone to turn to at some point in our lives.”
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when profoundly deaf guest Michelle, watched local drag artist, Linda Bacardi, one of only two or three drag artists in the UK proficient in BSL sign language signed two songs especially for her. Michele, her wife and most of the room were all moved to tears.
Michelle said: “It is difficult in a pub or on a night out, because I can’t hear music or appreciate it. I didn’t know what to expect tonight at the Prom, but I suddenly noticed that Linda was signing whilst speaking. I thought ‘what? He’s signing!’ Linda then signed two songs, which meant the world to me.”
Ms Bacardi will be bringing his special talents to the Worthing Pride Main Event stage to sign throughout most of the acts, adding extra inclusivity and enjoyment for deaf people.
For more information about Worthing Pride and to buy tickets, click here: