An Out of this World Queer Prom at Macalester


Photo courtesy of Jalynn Rodriguez ’23.

Jizelle Villegas, Staff Writer

This upcoming Saturday, April 22, Macalester’s Gender and Sexuality Commons (GSC) will be hosting a Queer Prom in Kagin Ballroom for students on campus. The theme for this prom is Alien Superstar. The event is aiming to be a joyous space for queer individuals to celebrate their “otherworldly” qualities that are often judged. Jalynn Rodriguez ’23, one of the creators of Queer Prom, spoke about the disclaimer that the GSC put out regarding the event. 

“The most important thing for us was writing a disclaimer and having it be at the center of our marketing,” Rodriguez wrote to The Mac Weekly. “With the disclaimer, we state that all are welcome. I find it important to recognize that there isn’t one way to be queer or trans. We didn’t want people to feel like they had to prove their queerness in any way.” 

It sounds like it is going to be an exciting event and I will for sure show up. I don’t think anything in my wardrobe would fit the exact theme, but any and all queer presences there will make it a fun and inclusive time. 

“It’s funny because the ‘Alien Superstar’ theme was picked kind of just for fun, but I really do think it’s fitting!” Rodriquez wrote. “It really gives people room to jump out of their comfort zone.” 

The performers for Queer Prom have been announced, which include: DJ QueenDuin (Vanessa Duina Hernandez), Lady C Cassadine (Domino D’Lorion) and The Other Jeannie Retelle (who is a Macalester graduate!). Hernandez is a queer Latinx DJ and D’Lorion is a queer Afro-Boriqua drag queen and actor. 

“I think I can speak for all of us in the GSC that it was very important for us to make this space reflect the multiplicity of our communities,” Rodriguez wrote. “Two of the performers identify as BIPOC and Latinx. Especially because a lot of the board identifies as BIPOC, we all saw a need to have that representation available.” 

I really love how the planning committee chose some performers that are queer people of color since that representation is often left out of the community. Rodriguez and the rest of the board feel similarly. 

“A lot of queer/trans spaces (both at Mac and outside) are very white and lack intersectionality; it’s a problem we have always wanted to tackle in the GSC by centering BIPOC experiences in many of our Tea Times and Qmmunity Qnnections, and Queer Prom is no exception to this,” Rodriguez wrote. 

Each of these performers is known in the Twin Cities queer community, so it will be a thrill to have them come into our community for one special night. Rodriguez let me in on the history of Queer Proms on campus.

“Macalester used to throw Queer Proms years ago. Over time, they disappeared and fell out of our collective memory. Part of the reason was because the events would become co-opted by straight, cis, and white students who weren’t really trying to engage with the community in any meaningful way,” Rodriguez wrote. “We really wanted to stress the importance of having a space like this during a time like this. Of course we want everyone to have fun and dance—but what we really want is for people to take a moment to express themselves and envision what their queerness really means to them.” 

The event’s doors open at 7:30 pm and the dance will go from 8:00 p.m to 11:00 p.m. If you are a queer individual and haven’t yet RSVPd, please do! This is a space for us to express ourselves and we should be in the space that has been designated for us.