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What: Queer Formal: UnMasqued

When: 9 p.m. Saturday

Where: Club level of Folsom Field

Cost: Suggested donations are $12 for individual student, $20 for student couple

Students at the University of Colorado have spent years unmasking the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender, or GLBT, community on campus, but the masks go back on Saturday night.

CU’s Gay-Straight Alliance will host the third annual Queer Formal and masquerade ball Saturday in the club level of Folsom Field from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. as a benefit for the Boulder County AIDS Project.

Organizer Lacee Jauregui, co-chair of the GLBT Resource Center Student Advisory Board, said the formal was started to give students a place where they can express themselves and recreate some of the typical high school memories they missed because of barriers created by their lifestyle.

“A lot of the individuals in the queer community didn’t get to have the same experiences as other kids in high school, like going to the senior prom,” Jauregui said. “My event is non-gender. It requires formal wear but you can wear anything you want and it’s not based on what society expects of you, but the way you feel.”

High heels, top hats, ball gowns and tuxedos will be popular articles of clothing on Saturday night. But masks are the accessory of note at the formal and are required to get in the door.

“By calling it unmasked … we’re recognizing that we don’t have to wear masks any longer,” Jauregui said. “We’re accepted in this place, but in this case we’re choosing to.”

This year’s formal is being dedicated to Tito Torres, a CU student who died in December and was largely responsible for the success of the first two events, organizers said.