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LGBTQ+ retirees celebrate their hard-earned self-acceptance at a belated prom night

Prom is a landmark of life in the United States that’s notoriously fraught with teenage anxieties, even if, for many, it’s also a meaningful and joyful rite of passage. But for members of the LGBTQ+ community – and especially those who came of age decades ago – it can be an occasion further complicated by their sexuality or gender identity. For some, this meant attending while closeted, or feeling otherwise unable to express their authentic selves. For others, this meant skipping the event altogether, sometimes because same-sex dates weren’t allowed. The US director Luisa Conlon’s short Senior Prom documents a unique event in Los Angeles where LGBTQ+ retirees can – often for the very first time – attend a formal dance where they feel accepted. The film moves between the exuberant event itself and the life stories of its guests and, in doing so, draws out the hard-earned advancements in LGTBQ+ rights over the past several generations.

Director: Luisa Conlon

Producer: Jessica Chermayeff

Website: Independent Lens

25 November 2021

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