[Seven-Person “Special Needs”] Prom [While the Cool Kids Party Elsewhere]

The saga of the gay kids who just wanted to go to prom continues.

(I have written about this before, if you missed it.)

Derrick Martin with the Atlanta Gay Men's Chorus

Derrick Martin is applauded at a recent concert by the Atlanta Gay Men's Chorus, whose photo this is. He sings in show choir himself. (Photo courtesy GAVoice)

On the good side, Derrick Martin, the Georgia 18-year-old whose parents kicked him out because he brought “bad publicity” on their family, is still slogging through. This guy is an object lesson in how to suffer fools: he’s sat through a girl telling him that it isn’t just his prom, it’s everybody else’s prom too, so what right does he have to bring his boyfriend? (I’ll let you puzzle on that logic for a while) and people saying that they’re worried he’s going to make Cochran famous as a gay-friendly town. (I wouldn’t worry about that too much.) (That might actually have been the same girl.) He has also managed to get himself honored by the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus and interviewed in The Advocate, and he’s getting ready to graduate and go to college on scholarship, and also he’s kind of adorable, so I reckon he’s going to turn out just fine. (And my apologies to Derrick’s boyfriend, Richard Goodman.  Who is also pretty cute. … Please don’t beat me up, guys.)

Constance McMillen

Constance McMillen, in a widely circulated photo.

But with every good there’s a little bad. Constance McMillen at least has the support of her parents and a sweet scholarship from Ellen, but that hasn’t prevented her community from treating her like shit. How bad could it be? They set up a “prom” for her and other gay (or otherwise unwanted) students to attend – all seven of them – and let the rest of the kids party the night away at a private party meant to approximate prom, free of all those pesky queers and retards.

I just want to let that sink in for a moment. Adults – educators, even – viewed planning a secret party for the normal, acceptable children to attend, and publicly embarrassing an 18-year-old girl, not to mention ruining her prom night… as preferable to just allowing her to bring her girlfriend. Adults. People who should know better than to treat anyone, let alone high-school students, as though they are worth less than anyone else. This is beyond rude. This is dehumanizing. I didn’t believe it myself, when I first heard about it, but there are pictures.

A photo of the "real" prom thrown in McMillen's absence

I'm glad those kids are dancing so chastely, in a way that God would approve of - not like what those lesbians are doing. (Photo by some kid who got to go to the real prom and then was dumb enough to put it on Facebook.)

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].”

 – The Advocate

What a girl.

… Is anybody else thinking of that scene in Mean Girls where Regina talks about how she couldn’t have Janis at her pool party because she thinks Janis might be a lesbian? “I couldn’t have a lesbian at my party. There were gonna be girls there in their bathing suits, I mean, right? She was a lesbian!” You just know there’s some girl there, crying, going, “She’s RUINING our prom! Why can’t she just be normal so we can all have fun?”

Oh, wait. I found her. This was pretty much Amber Duskin’s reaction as well, if you’ll recall. It’s much more important that NORMAL kids get to have their prom just like they want it, because it’s prom and it’s important. Which is why weirdos like Derrick and Constance shouldn’t screw it up by wanting to have their prom perfect, right? It boggles the mind.


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