This year's 12th annual All Ages Alternative Prom on Friday at the Historic Ashland Armory celebrates the 1980s, including the rise of the “yuppie,” an explosion of mega-movies, the emergence of cable networks like MTV, iconic movies like  “The Breakfast Club” and “Some Kind of Wonderful,” big hair, Madonna, and colorful clothes.

The All Ages Alternative Prom is sponsored in part and hosted by Lotus Rising Project, which has a variety of programs which work to support, inform, and reach out to LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or non-binary) people across Southern Oregon. Proceeds from the event will support continued services to youth and young adults.

All are welcome to attend. Last year's event drew about 240 people with a wide blend of age, gender identities, and sexual orientations.

This year's event features a family fun hour from 7 to 8 p.m., then DJ and music videos from Sights & Sounds Unlimited from 8 to midnight. There will also be a costume contest, photo booth and portrait photography, special entertainment from Teen Theater and the annual Social Justice Awards recognizing individuals for their support and contributions to the LGBTQ Southern Oregon Community.

Admission is on a sliding scale at the door, with suggested amounts ranging from $15-$30, for students, youth, and adults. Children 12 and younger enter for free. Ride Share is available (call 800-466-7005, ext. 5, or email prom@lotusrisingproject.org).

This event is also sponsored by GLSEN and other community supporters. The Alternative Prom was originally created, organizers say, to provide a safe space for youth who were discriminated against at their own high school proms and to give something back to the community at large. Although new laws have been passed and continued work is still moving forward in Oregon to protect the rights of people with diverse sexualities and gender identities, oppression is still experienced through bullying, lack of support in schools, and is still present throughout Southern Oregon.

Lotus Rising Project programs include Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA), Southern Oregon Gender and Sexuality Support Network (SOGASN), and Del's House, offering emergency assistance with items such has food, shelter, medication, and subsidized counseling.

Go to www.lotusrisingproject.org for more information.