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April 21, 2001

In conjunction with Planned Parenthood of the Mid-Hudson Valley and LGBT and Friends from Newburgh, the Queer Coalition of Vassar College (QCVC) sponsored a high school prom, “Over the Rainbow.” Held in the Aula, the event welcomed over 60 area students to the dance and after-party. “One of the things that’s really important to understand about LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgendered) youth,” said Matt Kavanagh ’01, one of the event’s organizers, “is that they don’t really have a safe space in the Hudson Valley. They often are in the closet in high school, their schools and communities are often places where they face harassment and abuse…. We wanted to have one night where these kids could be themselves, enjoy each others’ company, have same sex dates, dress in drag is they want to, be whoever they are without being threatened.”

Additional support for the prom came from the Vassar Student Association (VSA), the Gill Foundation in Colorado and several community members. Its organizers hoped that the prom would become an annual event.

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