COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Organizations in Colorado and across the country are having to get creative when holding group events. Inside Out Youth Service's in Colorado Springs organized a virtual prom for the LGBT community. It was open to anyone in the LGBT community, as well as community allies. All ages were welcomed.
"Our prom being the type of event where you can be who you are, you can express who you are, and you can love who you are, whether you are LGBT or an ally, it brings a very important aspect to these youths, said program assistant Joseph Shelton. "They can still express themselves and have fun, be with who they love and not worry about being judged over it."
"Having things like this gives us a chance to come together," said Rian, an LGBT youth. "Even if we can't hug each other and we can't dance and fist bump or whatever, we still have that sense of closeness."
The quarantine can be a tough time for LGBT youths, who rely heavily on support from within the community. The prom gave them a chance to interact with their friends again and enjoy an inclusive event.
"It was about reaching out and giving people a fun time," Shelton said. "Giving any excitement of getting away from this whole situation with COVID-19, and feeling like we're isolated in one area and that we're all alone in this. We had a live DJ. We had drag performers. We're not all alone. We're all still in this together."
The welcoming environment that Inside Out offers is needed because LGBT youths face a lot of challenges.
"They're learning about who they are," Shelton said. "A lot of them are going to the lines of acceptance. Some of them aren't getting excepted by their families. LGBT use are at a higher rate for suicide unfortunately. There's a lot of years going to the feelings that they are alone, and that they're going to this world alone, that they're not being supported."
But for just one night, it was a chance to forget about all of that, along with the virus and the quarantine and just enjoy prom.
"It was a safe place," Rian said. "It was something that I was fully able to just be free and just be me."
If you'd like to connect with Inside Out Youth Services, you can click here.