At the boisterous and crowded LGBT Network prom, held this Wednesday at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, a hush fell over the room when Quetcy Jacobs-Williams stepped up to the microphone.
Prior to this evening, Jacobs-Williams participated in the LGBT Network’s annual talent show, which took place at their center in Bay Shore. After four rounds of singing her heart out, she ultimately won the competition. Part of the prize was a chance to perform at the prom for her giddy friends and supportive staff members.
Looking back on the talent show, the 19-year-old recalled, “I was really nervous but I was very determined… I took it really seriously because I wanted to show people what I can do.”
Jacobs-Williams said she’s been singing since she was “in diapers.” “Since I could talk, basically,” she added with a laugh. Her favorite artists include Carrie Underwood and Idina Menzel.
Stage fright jitters still creep up on Jacobs-Williams from time to time, and she admitted that she was shocked to win the talent show.
“In my eyes, when I perform, I think I sound really bad,” she said. “When I perform in front of people, they think I sound really good. I’m my own critic. I cried when I won.”
At the prom, she stood in front of the DJ booth and crooned Adele's version of “To Make You Feel My Love." It was her parents’ wedding song, and she chose it to honor their upcoming anniversary.
Her smooth performance was followed by thunderous applause and cheers, but her evening didn’t end there.
Each year, the LGBT Network selects a “Rainbow Court” in lieu of a prom king and queen. Individuals are recognized by staff members for their character, and each color of the rainbow represents various attributes.
Jacobs-Williams was the recipient of the yellow mask, a nod to the evening’s masquerade theme. Yellow represents sunlight, joy, and the ability to always find the bright side.
All in all, Jacobs-Williams said she loved her very first LGBT prom.
“Everyone’s so nice, and you don’t have to be scared to be out,” she said. “It’s so comfortable and you can be who you are, and be proud of who you are.”