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‘Gender-Affirming Slay Fest’: Harvard College QSA Hosts Annual Queer Prom

The Cambridge Queen's Head, a student-run pub which serves Harvard affiliates under Annenberg Hall, pictured in Fall 2015. The Harvard College Queer Student
The Cambridge Queen's Head, a student-run pub which serves Harvard affiliates under Annenberg Hall, pictured in Fall 2015. The Harvard College Queer Student By Stefan Stoykov
By Anna Feng and Nicole L. Guo, Crimson Staff Writers

The Harvard College Queer Student Association held its annual Queer Prom at the Cambridge Queen’s Head Pub on Saturday evening in collaboration with the Office of BGLTQ Student Life.

Meagan S. von Rohr, director of the Office of BGLTQ Student Life, said it is important to keep the tradition of hosting Queer Prom alive because students are more certain of their identities in college than they had been during high school.

The Queer Prom provides “a space to celebrate and wear your gender-affirming, fiercest outfit,” von Rohr said. “That’s awesome.”

von Rohr credited members of the QSA for playing a leading role in organizing the event. Byron S. Gonzalez ’25 and Atlas Sanogo ’24, the QSA co-presidents, worked to add additional details to the 2024 iteration of Queer Prom.

Gonzalez said that he and Sanogo were intent on adding a red carpet to this year’s prom.

“Embracing them with open arms and so much love when they first walk into the pub was one thing that I think we really want to highlight, and making sure they feel safe and seen in terms of our space that we’re creating,” he said.

Sanogo also said they continued Queer Prom’s “promposal competition,” an addition which first premiered at last year’s event.

“For this promposal competition, the goal is really encouraging people to not just see prom as a place to come with your date, but also a place to come with your friends, to come as yourself, to come with people that you care about,” he said.

Gonzalez and Sanogo looked back on their experiences attending past queer proms at Harvard, specifically the 2022 and 2023 celebrations, and the goals they had in carrying on the tradition.

“It just gave me so much joy, seeing others having so much confidence in their genuine selves,” Gonzalez said. “I knew that was something I wanted to achieve.”

von Rohr also praised the atmosphere among prom-goers, emphasizing attendees’ collective influence in boosting each other’s confidence.

“I always look forward to the joy, and everyone’s so supportive of each other. Everyone's complimenting everyone else's makeup and outfits,” von Rohr said. “It is a celebration. It is a gender-affirming slay fest.”

Ultimately, Gonzalez hoped the event would reflect the same uplifting, inclusive experience it provided him.

“That’s also just one goal in terms of this space: helping people achieve their authentic selves,” he said. “I feel like once you’re there, you never want to trade your life with anyone else because you’re so full of joy and happiness.”

—Staff writer Anna Feng can be reached at

—Staff writer Nicole L. Guo can be reached at

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