Proms Can Be Painful. Pride Prom Is Different.

“It’s so fulfilling being here, seeing this,” said Savy Dunlevy, a 23-year-old gender nonconforming audio engineer. Sporting a tapered bob cut and blue blazer, Savy stood last Thursday on the back terrace of House of Yes, the cavernous warehouse-turned-disco in Bushwick, and thought on the awkwardness of an earlier prom.

Then a self-identifying queer woman, Savy remembered teasing the idea of going to prom with a crush in 2014 while a senior in high school — only to have the girl respond with an awkward “no.” “You see this and then you think of yourself from 10 years ago and you want to tell yourself ‘You’re going to figure it out. You’re going to be okay.’”

Savy and hundreds of others had gathered in Bushwick for “Pride Prom,” a revisionist soiree thrown on June 13 by the dating app Hinge in celebration of World Pride 2019. The 21-and-over celebration served the dual purpose of raising money for It Gets Better, the L.G.B.T.Q. youth suicide prevention nonprofit, and affording community members a chance to relive a possibly painful moment of self suppression.

“Prom for so many can make them feel like they don’t belong,” said Justin McLeod, Hinge’s founder and chief executive. “They don’t feel like themselves, so we felt it would be cool to create a prom where everyone feels welcome and can show up and be totally themselves.”

And so for hours, partygoers — which included a 31-year-old gay dentist from Tennessee, a 24-year-old lesbian from Georgia and a drag queen from the Bronx — danced to music provided by Boston Chery, a D.J. who identifies as a lesbian, and had their photos taken by a transgender photographer.

Jonathan Van Ness of the Netflix series “Queer Eye,” who served as host, thanked Hinge for “throwing a prom where people that are like me, or whoever you are, can be celebrated and feel a place to thrive and, you know, meet people and have a gorgeous moment.” Mr. Van Ness then put down his mic and judged the evening’s gender-neutral prom court dance-off.

Like most proms, Pride Prom had a theme: “Jungle Disco Floral,” which led to a profusion of tropical fronds, floral patterns and animal prints.

Many of the looks — men in floor-length dresses, gender-nonconforming women in tuxedos, self-described “butch queens” in leather — made political and sartorial statements. “I came to be seen, honey!” one young man in a shimmering blazer said to a friend nearby.

What is prom night without canoodling? The frequent moments of public affection that occurred on the dance floor — and in the dark corners beyond — seemed to take on a heightened sense of aplomb.

As one pair shared a kiss, Cher’s “Believe” boomed in the background. Another partygoer shouted “Woo!” in approval while passing by the couple and then said to them, “Bet you weren’t doing that at your last prom.”

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