VIDEO: BuzzFeed debuts touching new "Queer Prom" series

Following the celebration of the outlet's inaugural Queer Prom, BuzzFeed released a new 5-part video series, “Queer Prom,” which documents the journey of the eight high school seniors invited to attend BuzzFeed's (and the students') first-ever queer prom. The series will release one video each day from June 8th until June 12th. 

While prom has long been a source of discomfort for LGBTQ youth due to its dependence on traditional conceptions of gender and sexuality, BuzzFeed’s Queer Prom breaks the mold. The love and community in Queer Prom was evident as hundreds of high school seniors from across the country attended the event in Los Angeles, alongside out bisexual, pansexual, queer, and gay celebrities, including Evan Rachel Wood, Adam Lambert, Daniel Franzese, Mitch Grassi, Scott Hoying, Perez Hilton, and the Mayor of West Hollywood, Lauren Meister.

Eugene Lee Yang, star of the BuzzFeed original series “The Try Guys,” hosted the event and executive produced the series, which is sponsored by Truth, the largest and most successful youth smoking prevention campaign. Yang is aware of the limiting, typical prom experience and how, “at prom, where you’re traditionally expected to bring a date of the opposite sex and act according to your assigned gender, the pressure to assimilate in such a public space is yet another potential roadblock in a young queer person’s coming out journey.”

Much of what encompasses the celebration of prom is the preparation: the promposals, the makeovers, the pictures. Yet for closeted students or those who who would feel unsafe participating in these events because of how others may target them for how they express their gender and sexuality, full participation in this milestone can become dangerous. Through Queer Prom, BuzzFeed wants to chip away at this harmful reality for many queer and trans youth. Says Yang, “our hope is to show viewers around the world who might be struggling with their identity that it’s absolutely okay to be queer and, for even just a single night, it’s also perfectly normal.”

What is most unique about this new video series is the way it powerfully illustrates BuzzFeed’s commitment to fostering inclusion and uplifting LGBTQ youth stories. The video series will serve to inspire and connect LGBTQ young people who likely do not have access to a an inclusive and accepting prom. Having a window into this experience reminds LGBTQ teenagers of the strong community they are a part of and amplifies these students’ stories of resiliency to viewers all across the globe.

The first episode of Queer Prom was posted June 8th, with a new episode premiering every day through June 12th, concurrent with L.A. Pride Week.  Episodes include:

Episode 1: High School Seniors Get A Surprise Invite To Queer Prom

Six diverse LGBT high school seniors from across the nation are surprised with an official invite to attend BuzzFeed’s Queer Prom in Los Angeles to be part of the official Prom Court. BuzzFeed gets to know their families, friends, and coming out stories as they offer viewers an intimate glimpse into their lives and why the opportunity to attend this event is so important to them.

Episode 2: Dream Prom Makeovers That Transform Queer Teens’ Lives

After arriving in Los Angeles, the Prom Court is surprised with dream makeovers. With the help of celebrity wardrobe stylists, hairstylists, and makeup artists, the teens are given the opportunity to present their true, unabashed queer selves and express their identities through fierce fashion and heartwarming transformations.

Episode 3: Queer Celebs Reveal Their Awkward Prom Stories

Queer-identifying celebrities in attendance at BuzzFeed’s Queer Prom share their personal high school prom stories and why they believe that inclusive, safe events like this must be supported.

Episode 4: High School Seniors Attend Queer Prom For The First Time

The Prom Court arrives at BuzzFeed’s Queer Prom and are surprised by a rainbow-themed event attended by queer celebrities and local high school seniors. The evening unfolds with a series of surprises, from a jaw-dropping drag show to the entire Prom Court being crowned kings, queens, and everything in between.

Episode 5: BuzzFeed’s Queer Prom Crowning Ceremony

The full crowning ceremony of the Queer Prom Court, featuring host Eugene Lee Yang, crowning officiant Adam Lambert, BuzzFeed’s Prom Kween 2017 Evan Rachel Wood, thoughts from It Gets Better’s McKenna Palmer, and closing statements by Daniel Franzese.