Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Prom: It's a Gay Old Time

I've blogged previously about my various prom experiences. My senior prom was probably the least torturous of all three that I attended; my date was fine until he lowered the boom and broke up with me at the breakfast (which I found out later in college from his best friend was because he wanted to take someone else to their prom). The worst is a toss-up between my then-ex picking a fight my sophomore year and the date rapist who hit on all my friends my junior year. I wanted to dump the would-be rapist in favor of Hopkins, but my parents objected stridently when I announced my intentions right after Christmas.

In short, prom was okay, I guess, but in certain respects it was a disaster. It's all about perspective. My gay friends couldn't go together, let alone ask anyone from another school, which they reminded me of when I whined too much. They brought me down to Earth when I spun out over the various prom disasters. They dragged me around to the movies, to the mall (in another town, since we are from Podunk), their basements to watch TV, and the various hills and cliffs where we all went to hide from our parents and BS. They didn't let me sit and feel sorry for myself, even though they were forced to engage in a huge amount of diversion and chicanery to be able to enjoy the prom.

There have been plenty of LGBTQ prom 'flaps' over the last few years. This time, it's in Indiana. There's a group that wants to ban openly homosexual couples from the prom, especially from the "grand march" processional into the dance. Really? How are same-sex teenage couples that much different from the others in high school? I once chaperoned many dances at an evangelical Christian college where I spent more time reminding couples to "leave a little room for the Holy Spirit" between them than was necessary at my very public high school. Hormones are hormones, no matter the denomination! You get that with heteronormative couples, so yeah, you should expect it with ALL couples between the ages of say, twelve and twenty-two.

Is it really that scary that two dresses are swishing against one another? Or that two tuxes are locked in that bad teenage slow-dance embrace? What really bugs people about it? If the chaperons are doing their jobs, nobody's going to be off in a dark corner necking, whether they're gay or straight or pink-and-purple-polka-dotted. Isn't that a little more important than whether it's boy/girl, boy/girl, or are we less concerned that boy/girl could turn into shotgun wedding over the summer? At least that's NOT going to happen with the lesbian and gay couples...

Prom isn't always the fairytale that it's cranked up to be, but everybody should have a chance to go to theirs, particularly in a public school. If you have that big of a problem with your children being exposed to openly gay and lesbian students, folks, perhaps you should put them in an evangelical Christian school where the gay and lesbian kids are closeted. (Yes, you read that correctly. They're therrrrre, no matter how much you pay in tuition or enforce school rules against it. It's a very big closet and they're in excellent company.)

Your kids aren't going to get 'gay cooties' any more than they're going to catch 'fat cooties'. If they're straight, they're straight, if they're LGBTQ, deal with it. And while you're at it, better check your eye. There's probably a big old beam in there somewhere.

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