A Chance To Do It Your Way

S.O.U.L. hosts the Second Chance Prom

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Avery DeThunder was given a second chance at a memorable prom experience at S.O.U.L.’s “Second Chance Prom”. Photo: courtesy of Avery DeThunder

By Nicole Simmons

For every high school student, prom is a big deal. For Brockport senior Avery DeThunder, it was an experience that he described as terrible.

“I was raised by my grandma and grandpa,” DeThunder said. “We were really poor so we couldn’t do a limo or anything like that. My grandpa had to drive me to the prom in his pick-up truck that he used for work. It had a ladder on the top.”

DeThunder’s boyfriend at the time didn’t want to go because he was older. This prompted DeThunder to ask a different guy but the person DeThunder asked lied about going to Pennsylvania to avoid going to the dance.

“So I was single at prom and I didn’t really have any friends in high school so I basically sat at the table and ate all night,” DeThunder said.

When DeThunder was in high school he would steal his younger brother’s clothes. He
didn’t feel as if he was transgender, even though he felt more comfortable wearing boys clothing.

At 20-years-old DeThunder was watching Rupaul’s Drag Race. One of the contestants came out as a transgender woman. DeThunder says he remembers watching the Drag Race and thinking, that was him.

This revelation brought DeThunder back to a time when he was younger and watching “Oprah”. On an episode of “Oprah”, a transgender man was pregnant. The contestant on Rupaul’s Drag Race and remembering the man on “Oprah” helped DeThunder realize how he identified.

“I don’t think I’m a woman but I don’t think I’m necessarily a man either,” DeThunder said. “I think I’m gender queer, like I think I’m a mixture of man and a woman.”

When he came to Brockport he discovered Sexual Orientations United for Liberation. S.O.U.L. is a service club that uses activism and education to bring awareness to LGBTQ communities and issues on campus. The club provides programs and support for students within the LGBTQ community.

On February 11, S.O.U.L. hosted its annual Second Chance Prom. It’s not only for those who were unable to bring who they wanted to prom, but for those who did not have a great experience. For the past two years, DeThunder has gone with his
girlfriend.

“It’s a lot of fun because there’s dancing and there’s a photo booth. It’s everything that I never got to have,” DeThunder said.

To DeThunder it’s a second chance at what he missed out on in high school.

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