terrific people

Constance McMillen, 18-Year-Old Lobbyist

You already fell in love with Constance McMillen during her Mississippi high school prom struggle; some of you even wanted to be her date. But now that she’s got her dance (and graduation) out of the way, what’s keeping McMillen busy? Oh, just lobbying federal lawmakers.

Having already made it through the stage of being feted by every gay activist group that could book her, McMillen was among those at Obama’s LGBT Pride reception yesterday. But it’s not just virgin cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres for this chica. She’s also meeting with legislators.

Like Sen. Al Franken, whose anti-bullying bill (which has 23 co-sponsors) Constance is a big supporter of.

On Capitol Hill on Tuesday, McMillen huddled in a conference room with Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., to talk about a bill he introduced to ban public schools from excluding gay and lesbian students from activities. She also met with some gay and lesbian congressional staffers and was to attend a gay pride reception hosted by President Barack Obama at the White House later in the day.

McMillen praised Franken’s bill, saying it was broad enough to combat all kinds of discrimination – not just involving proms – against lesbian, gay, transsexual and bisexual students. McMillen said treatment of gays is slowly improving. “It won’t be long. It’s a matter of time before LGBT people have equal rights.” Still, she said lawmakers must act on Franken’s bill. “It’s a matter of whether they are going to step up and do it,” she said.

Is Constance McMillen actually going to change the minds of lawmakers, particularly Republican ones, to get on board with such legislation? I’m cautiously positive she will — but that involves arranging meetings between she and The Hill’s more conservative lawmakers, and not just the ones she’d be obvious friends with, like Franken. These elected officials need to hear Constance’s story directly from her mouth. For America’s queer teens facing daliy harassment and torment, Constance is a bright hope.

[Clarion Ledger]

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  • Sam

    @Queerty: “These elected officials need to hear Constance’s story directly from her mouth.”

    True. They ALSO need to hear from their constituents. You can use the ACLU’s action form to let your members of Congress know that you want them to support the Student Non-Discrimination Act.


  • Faketroll

    Wow, Queerty had a positive article about someone with no snide remarks…I’m impressed.

  • David Ehrenstein

    There’s no way to be snide about today’s kids. They’re very brave and very smart.

  • Revemupman

    She’s very brave, nice to see today’s youth paving their future.


    Sometimes ya gotta love Gay Karma Constance seems to be embarking upon a successfull path creating positive change and living a good life moving well past the vile hate cast upon her………

    As to the strhaters who tried every which way to put a hurt on her. The greatest measure of their success in life will be when they finally move on up to their dream double wide trailer on concrete blocks in the trailer park and get that full set of dentures…………

  • Nick

    Oh I hope the small town, small-minded bigots are seething with jealously. I grew up in a small town like that I got out within one month of turning 18. Bravo to Constance! She’s proven time and time again that she’s so much better than those pathetic townspeople who spew hate at every chance.

  • matt

    Hell yea Queerty! Please please, more stories like this!

  • nsomniac

    Hell yeahhh I think what Constance McMillen is doing is awesome. What a brave and strong girl. You go sister !!

  • Damien


  • Naya

    Yes! This girl is awesome.

    Our community should always pay attention to and promote stories about the awesome youth in our movement, like Constance and Brent (the 15-year-old who’s working to get more gay books in libraries).

    And we should also have a blacklist throughout all publications in our community, on jackasses like Perez, who are just a stain and deserve to be ignored.

  • Jeff K.

    I should have pissed more people off in high school. Maybe I’d have a job now. :/

  • Cam

    LOVE this girl!

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