By SARAH KLEPNER
About 100 high school students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender and their straight allies gathered for a dance party in the cafeteria at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional on Friday night.
It was the third annual Gayla!, a prom-like event organized by Make It Better for Youth, a consortium which includes Monmouth County high schools, Jersey Shore PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), the county library system, the Two River Theater, and the Monmouth County Arts Council.
“What’s great about this is that you don’t go in feeling pressured to fit into any prom stereotype,” said Ellie Halfacre, RFH senior, member of the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance and event organizer. “It’s not about what sexuality you are, it’s about being with people who accept you no matter what.
“Everyone’s here to have fun and just be themselves,” she said, adding that many friendships had grown out of the prior two Gayla gatherings.