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Despite the name, the staff explained that the NYPL party wasn't necessarily meant to replace traditional high school proms, but complement them, so kids who don't conform to certain societal norms — they're not straight or cisgender, they like to dress differenly, and so on— can be free to be whoeever they want.
The party is also home to a yearly fashion show put on by High School for Fashion Industries, which designs that were made by students.
But not everyone has the time of their life at prom, which can be an uncomfortable evening for some teens who don't conform or just feel different from their classmates.
That's why the New York Public Library in Manhattan host an anti-prom every year, where anyone — including those teens who feel like outcasts — can come and be themselves without fear of judgement.