Teens Get A Surprise Invite To Their Dream Prom • Queer Prom 2018

- Hey guys, I'm Curly. - I'm Jazzmyne. - And we're here for Queer Prom 2018 in New York City. - Woo, and we're about to go meet the court, let's go! (screaming) (upbeat music) - [Teo] Hello. - [Man] Hey Teo, how's it going? - [Teo] Hi, I'm great. - Well I wanted to introduce to my friend who had some news for you. - Hi! - Oh my God! - How are you? - Oh, my God, what, oh my God! - So we wanted to tell you that you were selected and you are coming to New York to go to Buzzfeed's Queer Prom. - You're serious? Oh my God. I feel like I came out to myself when I was like, 10. (laughing) I was 10 years old like, okay, I wanna say this, why can't I say it? People are telling me I shouldn't be saying something like this. People are telling me I shouldn't feel this way, so I didn't feel comfortable enough to share how I was feeling, and I guess it made me a really angry person. My father is something. He's very one of those people that's like, my kids are queer so I love queer people. And he says things like, oh, you wanna act like a man, then I'm gonna treat you like, I'ma talk to you like you're a man so you better man up, you better do this. And just because I identify as a trans guy doesn't mean I gotta be super masculine 'cause I'm not. (laughing) Hi, so I'm in my room, it's late at night, and I just realized that there's only five days 'til Queer Prom. Living in Philly is many different things. It's really cool to be around music creators, but at the same time, the people who I like to surround myself with sometimes don't like me to be around them, which can suck. (singing) I spend a lot of time in the music scene in Philly, and it gets kinda scary, it gets kinda upsetting, because a lot of the music business is homophobic and transphobic and sexist and horrible. I had my sister at home and she was much more of a support system. She is probably the only person who I know that's always supporting me like, my whole life. - Well, for me, I'm already queer. I came out as pansexual a long time ago, and everybody wasn't accepting of it. You came out twice, though. - Twice? - You came out twice, yeah. - I guess it happened. - You came out twice, but when you came out as gay first, I was just like, okay, I know, and then you're like, okay. And then the second time, you were just like, I'm transgender, and I'm like, alright, what's your name, what are your preferred pronouns, alright, that's fine. (peaceful music) - I came out to my mom in a 7-Eleven parking lot. (laughing) We were fighting, I think over transgender rights, or something, and I was like, well Mom, I'm gay, and then I ran out the car, went to 7-Eleven, went back to the car, and we stayed there crying for at least an hour. All the 7-Eleven people probably think we're crazy but, I'm so sorry, yeah, I love my mom. I wish she was here. So, we're getting ready to board our flight to New York for Buzzfeed's Queer Prom. - [Eva's Mom] Abelena's my only niece, and she is the same age as my daughter, Eva. - It means everything to be able to be here for your mom, who loves you so much, and even though she's in Nashville accepting an award, I am texting her like crazy and sending her pictures and she's here with you every minute, and we love you. - How has me being gay affected our relationship? - I think we're closer now. I think you are able to open up more, and, which is a good thing, it's a good thing. - Yeah. It's taken me a long time to be able to say I have a girlfriend out loud, 'cause all the repercussions that can happen in high school and the cruelty of kids and I, honestly wanted to protect her more than myself so I didn't want her to go through what I gone through in my past. And it was hard 'cause I like her a little bit, you know, and it was hard not being able to show our love and affection out in public, in a place that's supposed to be safe, like a high school dance. - I don't feel protected as a queer person, especially as a queer person of color. I think at my school specifically, for the number of out queer and trans people that we have, there's very little protection in terms of enumerated policy. I've arguably done more work for LGBT inclusivity at my school than some of the people who make the policies at my school, who, it's their literal job to do this work, and, so it's been frustrating. Ohio is, it's quaint. It's one of those places where everyone thinks it's just corn. There's also a lot of racism and homophobia, in addition to corn. When I came out, I didn't have an official, guys, I'm queer. I just started dating a girl, and everyone was like, oh, I didn't know you were gay, and I'm like, well I'm not. And they're like, what are you? And I'm like, haven't figured it out yet. I think, in terms of coming out as gender-nonbinary, that was a little bit more difficult. I got more of, well I don't know what that means, well can you explain that to me, well, are you sure that there's more than two genders, and I think people get caught up on the pronouns, like, oh, the different pronouns, it's not grammatically correct. In reality, they're not seeing a person saying like, hey, I'm different than what you think I am, I need you to accept that. Mom, how do you feel about me going to Buzzfeed's Queer Prom? - I'm happy for you, I'm glad you got picked, 'cause I know that was something that you really wanted. I've learned a lot, and I'll say it's really made me think about my life and, here it comes. High school was really difficult. I thought that I had it rough because I was the nerd at school. I was mistreated by people but, they really did all say wrong, really wrong and, I'm sorry, I'm sorry that you had to go through that. - For reference, school was hard because, we'd have teachers that are like, we're trying to find a different class for Ose to be in because, you know, they make the teacher uncomfortable, or, we understand that this teacher makes you uncomfortable because they don't represent your identity but we're not gonna do anything about it. And, they'd been like, oh, we're gonna suspend you, like, oh, we're gonna put you in detention, or we're gonna switch your schedule, and never getting to the route of the problem and, so yeah, I really appreciate my mom. Yeah. - And you can be yourself and turn up. (laughing) - I can turn up? - Yeah. - Okay, I'll do that, I'll turn up, I will turn up. - Okay. - So there's only, like, three days left until I go to New York. I've never flown and now here I am graduating and flying out to New York. What a way to start adulthood. Hi, my name's Paige, I'm 18 years old and I come from Las Vegas, Nevada. I came out to my aunt, she's my support system. I told her everything. That's where I would go to escape from my situation at home. She's like that backbone that I needed growing up. So I questioned my grandmother and my aunt, actually. Those are the first two people I questioned. I was like, what is a lesbian? 'Cause I was like, what is that? 'Cause that's what I was told that I was, and I was like, yeah I like girls, there's a term for it? So when I came out that weekend after sitting there and contemplating, a 12-year-old sitting on the couch just like, okay, I went up back upstairs and I said, you know what, you're right, I am. Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey Sidney. - Oh, you caught me in deep thought. (laughing) - I went to elementary school, middle school, and high school with the same kids, so everyone just grew up knowing each other. We don't have a LGBT club. We did and they got rid of it. When they got rid of it, I was kinda disappointed. I was like, you're serious, right? You can't do that. You're basically telling us we can't express ourselves, so I grew up my junior year and senior year without one, and you just saw this decline of people who didn't wanna be as open about it at school and we just didn't have the club anymore. - I was born in Boston. I lived there for my first two years of my life, and then I moved to Barbados. (calming music) Part of growing up there was, in the culture, it's not okay to be who I was, so it was a very, very private part of my life. I moved back when I was 10 years old. My school was an all boys, New England Prep School, so take with that what you will. It's predominately white, predominately straight, so there wasn't much of a community for two aspects of my identity. So it became difficult to really exist in that space, so that's when I turned to theater after my freshman year. It's something that I ended up really enjoying and it became a huge part of my life. - Well, I have some news. - Yeah? - Well we're super excited that you're gonna come hang with us. And I love your story. - Oh my God. - We're so stoked. - So you're good to go, like you can come, you're free, and you're gonna bring your mom, right? - Yeah. Oh my God. - Then she can come? - I wish I had told my mom first, because that's the only opinion that I really cared about. I remember the story very, very distinctly. December 6, 2017, we're talking about one of my friends, who was going through a really difficult time in her life, and I was asking my mom for advice on how I could help her and help her through this time, and she was talking about how, oh I just wish kids would feel more comfortable telling their parents things, so I was like, oh, this might be a sign, lemme just do it right now, and it was the longest pause ever and it finally set in and she laughed and was like, I know. - I knew. I just knew. I am happy that he's able to come out his comfort zone and say who he really is, not being ashamed, and being free. I respect that a lot about him. (laughing) - Yeah, I went to prom, I went to prom twice, and I was with a singular person that I liked in a space full of people that made me uncomfortable. - Like if I wanted to bring a boy or something, I don't think that there would be space for me to do that. - Do I go, do I get judged? I don't want that judgment on my shoulders. - It was ugly. I lived, I survived that day. I made it. (laughing) I have a good prom coming! - [Unison] Queer Prom! - I'm excited to meet them. - [Jazzmyne] I'm like, so excited to meet them. - Okay. - Welcome to New York! (cheering) What's up? - I'm here at Buzzfeed, like, holy crap. This is amazing! - Surprise. (laughing) - This is just an adrenaline rush. It's like, whoa. - We have a little surprise for you. We got some new little phones for you guys. - [Curly] So these phones will be so y'all can document the Queer Prom, and then also y'all can take them home afterwards. (cheering) - I don't think anyone understands how excited I am to be here. - I think probably I'm most excited about is the energy. I never feel like I can just go and socialize somewhere, and I feel like it's gonna be a place where I can just talk to anybody and them be like, hey, what's up? - I think this is the first time that I would probably be in a room with that many people who are queer. - Exciting. - I am so excited to just click with everybody and run around and touch everything. If it's shiny, I'm touching it. - Alright, everybody, make a silly face! Three, two, one. - [Unison] Queer Prom! (funky music)