- Associated Press - Sunday, May 28, 2017

LOGAN, Utah (AP) - A first-ever prom for gay, lesbian and transgender students has been held in Logan to provide an event for students who might not have felt comfortable attending traditional proms at their high schools.

Cache Youth Resource Center hosted the LGBTQ prom May 13 and about 70 people attended.

The event was aimed at providing an opportunity for young members of the LGBTQ community in Logan to have a safe place to dress up and have fun, said Jess Zamora, the Logan Pride chairwoman and outreach coordinator for the resource center.

“I constantly talk to people about acceptance not being something you agree with but something you do,” she said. “You don’t have to agree with someone’s opinion to accept who they are.”

Zamora moved to Logan two years ago after spending much of her life in Southern California. She said the culture of acceptance in Logan is much different than what she’s used to.

“I was never worried about holding someone’s hand of the same or different sex, and here I notice it’s a big issue,” she said.

The event was open to anyone regardless of sexual orientation or identity. Zamora said every LGBTQ member deserves an opportunity to be themselves without having fear of receiving persecution.

“There are some youth going to their schools’ (prom) but they’re going as a straight person because of the bullying, because of lack of support from principals and other teachers,” she said.

Logan High School Principal Kenneth Auld responded to an initial email request but did not provide answers to written questions or return calls regarding the school’s gay-straight alliance clubs, prom policies or Zamora’s statement, the Standard-Examiner reported (https://bit.ly/2qx60Sf ).

Jax Hunsaker doesn’t think of herself as a very feminine person, but on the evening of the LGBTQ prom, the 14-year-old donned a black dress and some heels.

Hunsaker identifies as pansexual, or not limited in sexual choice with regard to biological sex, gender, or gender identity. She said it can be difficult living in Logan because the community is not always very accepting.

“I wish everyone would understand everyone can’t be just like you,” Hunsaker said. “It’s dumb to think everyone can be the exact same. It’s about acceptance. We’re all human. We breathe the same air. We live on the same planet.”

Julie Hunsaker, Jax’s mother, volunteered at the prom as a chaperone said she has tried to be supportive and accepting of her daughter.

“I’m a little apprehensive to do that, but I want to support her, and I actually want to see what she’s doing all night,” she said.

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