Antonia Lopez | The Poly Post

Pride Formal gives queer students their own prom

By Antonia Lopez and Samantha Carmona, April 25, 2023

Cal Poly Pomona’s Pride Center hosted a pride formal offering its members a safe space to celebrate themselves and let loose.

The pride formal was hosted in the Ursa Major Suite of the Bronco Student Center Friday, April 14 and was open for anybody to attend, but primarily focused on hosting LGBTQ+ students who were a part of the Pride Center.

Pride Center Coordinator, hosted the event with the goal of creating a prom for LGBTQ+ students to be able to safely congregate and feel comfortable with their identities. He described the event as something to reflect queer students’ true expression.

“Oftentimes we are not allowed to be our true selves, we usually have to look a certain way,” said Salazar. “We wanted to throw a gay prom to allow students to celebrate themselves and their queerness.”

The formal, also nicknamed the “Quog,” which stands for queer bog, was themed to a swampy aesthetic, encouraging guests to dress in natural colors and embracing a dark and mysterious vibe. While not enforced, the theme was embraced by many attendees who wore outfits with accessories including elements such as mushrooms, clouds and flowers.

Salazar explained the theme was picked out by students who attend the Pride Center.

Antonia Lopez | The Poly Post

“It’s giving Shrek-core, cottage-core. I feel like it resonates with queerness,” said Salazar.

The theme for the previous formal, thrift store, also reflected this off-beat vibe to represent the queer experience.”

The Ursa Major Suite was decorated lightly in theme, with faux vines hanging on the walls and flowers and candles decorating each table. The photo booth also was themed with a weathered wood texture with string lights for a 2-D backdrop. Small props were included for students to wave in the photos, which could be printed moments after they were taken. Plenty of guests flocked to the photo booth and used the opportunity to strike poses showing off their Quog fashion.

The dance floor was full of students dancing and laughing the night away. Many students got up to replicate the popular dance from the Netflix series, “Wednesday” upon hearing “Bloody Mary” by Lady Gaga. Nostalgia flooded the room when “Gangnam Style” played, and everyone took opportunities to dance in sync to its iconic choreography.

Lights in the suite flashed rainbow colors, and they were accented by light up flower crowns available to all attendees. Some students also wore their own clothes with light up accessories or brought props such as stuffed animals with similar flashy attachments.

With the lights and music, the entire suite was filled with a strong energy that was reflected in the attendees’ comradery towards each other.

The DJ of the event, Ong Remski, described their involvement in the formal and how this was the first CPP Pride Center event they had been directly involved in.

After being told about the event by a coworker, Ong visited the Pride Center several times for the upcoming event. They spent hours getting to know and gather music recommendations from students.

“It’s been a blast getting to know everybody, and I love them all,” said Ong after the event. When the DJ session was over, Ong received enthusiastic applause from the crowd.

There was food available to the guests throughout the event, including rice and pad thai noodles, along with sweets such as red velvet and fudge squares. The drinks consisted of sweet tea, pink lemonade and water.

Anthropology student Draigin Parker, came to the event with her friends and expressed her excitement for the event.

“You don’t really see that many queer events on campus, so I feel like that why we all wanted to come,” said Parker.

Other students also expressed positivity towards the idea of similar events and praised the Quog theme’s uniqueness and the chance to feel comfortable with their identities, reflecting a strong success for the Quog’s goal.

The Pride Center regularly hosts informative and entertainment events for queer students on campus. With the success of the formal, similar events can be expected in the future. To learn more about events like the Quog, visit the myBAR page for the Pride Center.

Feature image courtesy of Antonia Lopez

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