Dear Ask a Gay,
Do you think Constance should be able to go to prom with her girlfriend? What if it’s so offensive to see two girls dancing together to Stairway to Heaven that some students burst into flames?
Well no one has asked but I could tell that the question was hanging the air and I figured I should talk about the elephant in the prom court. For those of you who don’t know what this is all about, read this. After you read that, go ahead and click here to support her.
Yes, Constance McMillen wanted to go to the prom with her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo. Not only that but she wanted to do it at a Mississippi school in the Bible Belt that is still reeling from the idea that they can’t require bible classes in a public school. Before diving into anything else on the topic of gays at the prom though, I feel like I have to mention that because of all of the hubbub this has caused, Constance got to be on the Ellen DeGeneres show which is so much cooler than the prom. I would like to be on the Ellen show. If I could retroactively trade in my stupid prom experience for that, I would in seconds. Ellen, please call me. In exchange I will give you my pair of long black gloves, a can of Aquanet, some pictures of me standing awkwardly in front of a white limo, and a prom wine glass inscribed with threatening words from Billy Joel, “These are the days to remember.” Good God. I hope not. Now back to prom.
I searched for a little prom history and was led to a site that I am disturbed exists called “Pretty for Prom”. They have a prom planning timeline. Apparently you need to start doing things three months in advance. It’s like early training for the bride you will someday become. Oh women. So many of the dreams we are supposed to have seem to treat men almost as an accessory and an afterthought. At least in this scenario Constance was smart enough to choose the role that would simply require her to rent a tux. Pretty for prom did lead me to an interesting tidbit on prom’s past. It seems that “the first reference to prom in popular history comes from the journal of an Amherst College student who described his invitation and attendance at an early prom at Smith College in 1894.” There you go! Constance should definitely be allowed to go to the prom with her girlfriend because the prom started “in the elite colleges of the Northeast” and we all know that those colleges are way okay with gay. So everyone who ever attends a prom today, no matter where they are or what they believe in, is ultimately doing something liberal and kind of gay anyway. Sorry to tell you.
So this little Mississippi school canceled the prom entirely. NO PROM?? Great job Constance. There are a whole bunch of students in Mississippi now wondering where the hell they are going to ditch their unwanted babies thanks to you. Because of you there is some student out there who will be able to go to graduation without a problem because she won’t have gotten drunk and vomited on one of the chaperone’s shoes. Off like a private, non-school sanctioned, dance in which the law can’t prevent us from discriminating against anyone we want dress? Doesn’t have the same ring to it does it? Plus, at the new discrimination dance that the school hopes someone will be hosting there will probably be some inter-racial couple that won’t be allowed to go either.
What would have happened if the school just let her attend the prom instead of canceling the dance? Some parents would keep their kids home. Some people would be fine with it and not care. Some people would say nasty things. Some people would say nice things. Some people would make signs and protest. Some would make signs and support her. A good life lesson would have been learned about how humans have the capacity to be both great and loving AND small, nasty and hateful. What is happening now because they canceled the dance? Pretty much the same thing except Constance now has a great college essay and has been on Ellen. Constance, you did a great job by standing up for yourself and sticking to your convictions. This is one more step on the way to a future in which people will hopefully be more accepting of diversity. Now finish up that Smith application.