high school

How Come Straight Girls Get to Go To Prom With Other Ladies, But Not Lesbians Like Constance McMillen?

With the ACLU planning to file suit against Itawamba Agricultural High School for canceling its senior prom instead of letting 18-year-old senior Constance McMillen take her girlfriend, even the national media has been all over the “Should gays dates be banned from prom?” fiasco. McMillen even scored herself a Today show appearance, and if she plays her cards right, she’ll get a four-page spread to model prom gowns in Seventeen. But aren’t critics of McMillen — namely, her high school administrators — forgetting that girls go to prom with other girls all the time?

Whether it’s because they are dateless or just want to send the message that “we don’t need boys,” straight girls have been arriving to hotel reception halls in limos, sans men, for decades. There has never been any serious criticism of this choice, at least no more than creepy father-daughter dance events. Not only do these girls sometimes arrive together, often, they dance together too!

Which is worth noting, because Itawamba High specifically told McMillen she cannot arrive with her same-sex girlfriend (who is also a student there, and whose name is, curiously, missing from press reports), and she will be asked to leave the prom if other students report they are made “uncomfortable” around McMillen and her date, presumably while they are dancing together and getting all lez. (Administrators warned McMillen, because McMillen first approached them to address the school’s prior ban on gay prom dates.)

The only part of this straight girl v. gay girl analogy that doesn’t completely mesh is McMillen’s desire to wear a tux to the prom. But how many high school teenagers, rather than wear a customary tuxedo or prom dress, opt for something bizarre like an outfit made entirely out of duct tape, or a T-shirt with a tux design ironed on to it? At plenty of proms, non-customary dress is as expected as awkwardly posed photos.

The idea that two teenage girls going to prom together is some abhorrent act worth canceling prom over is as ridiculous as a a girl staying home on prom night because she doesn’t have a date. Just go. Dance. Be with friends. And luckily, there are plenty of folks who want to make that happen.

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  • Ethan

    I didn’t end up going to my school ball for this very reason. I regret it a lot.

    High schools should be a safe place where teenagers can be free to express themselves, not somewhere they are to be told their lifestyle is unacceptable!

  • Qjersey

    But I’m sure the pregnant girls are allowed to attend with the guys that knocked them up.

  • Jason

    I can’t believe that headline! Framing this issue by comparing a gay couple who desire to attend prom together to a group of straight friends attending together as if to ask, “what’s the difference?” turns away from the issue. There’s a huge difference. Ms. McMillen wanting to go to prom with her girlfriend is not the same as a group of straight friends going to prom together—it’s the same as a straight couple going to prom together.

    Obviously, a site called “Queerty” is aware of that difference, and is presenting the article here merely to make a point. But it’s a cheap point, and it confuses the argument.

    Typically, only seniors are automatically invited to the prom. When a group of straight girls decide to go together, they’re probably all seniors who are entitled to their own ticket by virtue of being upperclassmen. Since she is a sophomore, Ms. McMillen’s girlfriend doesn’t have that privilege—she has to be someone’s date.

    Also typically, seniors receive a nice discount on the price of their date’s ticket. A group of straight senior friends attending together are probably all buying their own full-priced ticket. Well, Ms. McMillen wants the discount. As she said in her Today show interview, her high school, like a lot of high schools, prevents students from buying discounted tickets for same-sex dates as a way to keep groups of straight buddies from gaming the system.

    So those are some other difference to your “straight girls vs. gay girl” analogy, other than the tux. Straight girls going to prom together isn’t at all the same as a lesbian wanting to bring her girlfriend.

  • jason

    Something about this has me doubting McMillen’s veracity. I know her point is valid but is she doing it for the right reason? Or is she doing it for personal publicity?

    If this was a guy, there’s no way he’d be getting this much attention.

  • David Ehrenstein

    Being Out and Proud is The Right Reason!

  • Jason

    @ other Jason: I believe she’s genuine—the attention she’s likely getting from her classmates isn’t the kind of “publicity” most high schoolers are asking for. But anyway, if you agree that her point is valid and that she’s legitimately invested in the issue, who cares about her motive. She’s a student at the school and she’s facing discrimination. If her end game was to make it onto the Today show—I don’t believe it was—does that make the school’s policy any less discriminatory? No. Does that make her more deserving of discrimination? No.

  • Cam

    No. 4 · jason said…
    Something about this has me doubting McMillen’s veracity. I know her point is valid but is she doing it for the right reason? Or is she doing it for personal publicity?

    If this was a guy, there’s no way he’d be getting this much attention.

    People need to stop making statements like that. You have to be joking. A Canadian boy wanted to take his boyfriend to the Prom and he got a documentary made about it that was shown on HBO and TV all over Canada and the U.S.

  • JQ

    I’m pretty sure her girlfriends name hasn’t been released in the media because she is a minor and not because of some other underhanded purpose. Constance however is legally an adult so the media is allowed to print her name.

  • Kel

    Do I think that the school should have cancelled the prom because of this one girl, I don’t know. But it is good for the school to stand up for what is RIGHT. Homosexuality is wrong. The Bible says DO NOT practice homosexuality; it is a detestable sin. Leviticus 18:22. God made Adam and Eve for a reason. He did not make a male partner for Adam he made him a female to be his partner. And that is how it should be, ONE MAN and ONE WOMEN. Don’t you know that those who do wrong will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, who are idol worshipers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals… none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6 : 9-10 But God dose forgive us for our sins and can deliver us from them. Jesus is coming soon. So be ready.

  • Kel

    @Qjersey: Thats a lot different. Then two gays going together.

  • jeffree

    do not feed the religious trolls…….they do not respond to logic….they are the hit and run drivers of the internet

  • Kel

    @jeffree: I am just telling the truth. Like it or not. Do you have a problem with religion? God didn’t make Adam and Steve, He made Adam and Eve. This just tells you that Jesus is going soon.

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