It’s hard enough being a teenager these days.
It’s even harder when you’re an openly gay teenager.
Earlier this year, eighteen-year-old Constance McMillen wanted to go to the prom, as do most girls her age. Only in this case, Constance wanted to bring her girlfriend, and wanted to wear a tuxedo. But to the good folks down in the Itawamba County School Division, she might as well have asked to take a dump on their dinner plates. According to the school division, same-sex dates were not allowed at the prom. Not only that, but only males were permitted to wear tuxedos. Which meant no prom for Constance.
“Bullshit on that,” Constance replied. Well, maybe she didn’t SAY it but she certainly THOUGHT it.
With that, she took them to court. And won.
Being the good sports they are, the school district flipped Constance the middle finger and announced that the prom was cancelled. Of course, the district wouldn’t come out and say that it was cancelled because of the case. But the parents on the (private) prom committee sure did. They didn’t want to get sued, so they cancelled it. However, days later they saw the error of their ways and announced a new prom would be held, one that Constance could attend with her girlfriend.
Faith in humanity restored. Rational thought won the day, and hooray for the 21st century.
Not quite. When Constance showed up at the prom with her girlfriend, there were FIVE OTHER PEOPLE THERE, including TWO disabled classmates. All the other kids were attending another prom a few miles away.
That’s right – they threw a fake prom.
You’d expect Constance to be furious with these hillbillies. Instead, she commented about the two disabled kids that attended her prom:
Two students with learning difficulties were among the seven people at the country club event, McMillen recalls. “They had the time of their lives,” McMillen says. “That’s the one good thing that come out of this, [these kids] didn’t have to worry about people making fun of them [at their prom].”
But that’s one side of the story. Lindsay Begley, one of Constance’s classmates, gave everyone else’s side of the story.
**Open Minded Readers Only**
I am a senior at IAHS, and I’ve known Constance for the last 6 years. Please hear our side of the story before you decide on our fate.
The party we had in Evergreen (the county neighborhood I live in) is 30 mins away from the school. we rented out the community center, hired vendors, decorated, and our parents ran the security/chaperone staff- but it wasn’t prom. Prom was at the country club where constance and 7 other students were. The reason the senior class boycotted the actual prom was not because we hate gays. We wanted a drama-free gathering to celebrate 3 great years and 1 lousy one together, and we wanted to lay low. We also wanted to do it without the main cause of the lousy. What people are failing to realize is that much of the fault of this whole stink lies with Constance, not her mistreatment by the school district, but her crazy-reckless need for attention. It sounds mean and horrible and like we planned it all specifically to embarrass Constance, but we didn’t. We let her have her prom with her girlfriend and her tuxedo and we went to party it up in the “boondocks” not because we wanted her rights violated, but so we could salvage what has turned into a total fiasco. As a whole we didn’t support her decision to throw the district under the bus, or her insinuations that we’re all just a bunch ‘a hicks driving around in beater pick up trucks spitting tobacco and burning crosses. IAHS is one of the top schools in the state and I’m proud of that, and I’m proud that we took a stand and just said you know what? forget it, we have just as much right as you do to have a party for ourselves. So we did, and now we’re getting flack because poor Connie’s ego got a bit of bruising. She’s playing the lesbian card to prove she ALWAYS gets what she wants. This time, we didn’t just let her.
Take it as you will, because I’m sure it sounds like we faked her out, but understand this- the decision NOT to attend prom had nothing to do with the school or with Constance’s sexual preferences; it had everything to do with proving we weren’t going to let her and the ACLU steamroll us into doing what Constance wanted. We flexed the muscle of the majority and we’ll suffer the consequences.
Good thing these folks aren’t hicks or anything.
Now after all that, you’d think Constance could just graduate in peace. Instead, she’s getting another steaming pile of hate served up to her, this time by professionals – the Westbro Baptist Church.
All this crap and she hasn’t even gotten out of High School.