New York Public Library’s Belmont Branch Hosts Anti-Prom: “We Feel Included”


NEW YORK — The New York Public Library’s Belmont branch hosted its second-ever “anti-prom” Friday night.

It provided a safe and inclusive space for teens to dress up, hang out and have fun.

Children aged 12-18 are invited to celebrate personal expression, including embracing their sexuality, gender identity, culture and clothing style.

“Just to celebrate, throw a party when they might not feel so accepted at their school dances,” said Whitney Davidson-Rhodes, a young adult librarian for the Wakefield branch.

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“It’s going to be an opportunity for anyone who is LGBTQ+ to really enjoy something for once and be truly appreciated,” said one student.

“Like, we feel included, and we get to do fun things like design pins and tote bags and things like that, and we get free books,” said another student.

This year’s theme was “Bronx Rising” to celebrate resilience and perseverance in the wake of the pandemic.

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