Sarasota News Leader

05/09/2014

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"We don't want there to be a need for an alternative prom," says ALSO Youth Program Coordinator Molly Swift. But after hearing from students active in the nonprofit, which supports LGBT youth and their straight allies, it was pretty clear one was needed. ALSO Youth students don't all go to the same high school, for one thing, and some feel they can't take the date they'd like to their reg- ular proms. Some just flat-out can't afford to attend a prom. And some with disabilities simply don't feel com- fortable at the dance. So if the students don't want to go to their school prom, why not just throw their own? Alternative Prom — which will take place at The Out-of-Door Academy's Lakewood Ranch campus this Saturday — was born. ALSO Youth didn't invent the concept. So-called "anti-proms" have been around for a while; the long-gone sitcom Malcolm in the Middle once featured ALSO Youth volunteers spread the word about Alternative Prom. Photo courtesy of Molly Swift A DANCE OF THEIR OWN ALSO YOUTH'S ALTERNATIVE PROM GIVES LGBT YOUTH AND ALLIES A CHANCE TO GET DOWN IN A 'COMFORTABLE' SPACE If the youth have a good time, we'd like to do this every year. Molly Swift Program Coordinator ALSO Youth By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor

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