All Dressed Up…

…but not allowed to go anywhere. I wasn’t going to blog about this but after a conversation with some friends this weekend, I decided I would. It’s about that Mississippi lesbian, Constance McMillen who stirred up a storm of publicity when her school canceled the prom because she wanted to wear a tux and bring her girlfriend to the prom. What troubled us about this story was not so much that the school chose the path it did, but that, in our way of thinking, it was more like an unnecessary pre-emptive dustup on her part. Why did she go to the school board in the first place to make her request? Why didn’t she just show up at the prom in her tuxedo with her girlfriend on her arm and then see what kind of fury brewed and then contact the media if and when they didn’t let her attend? To us around the table, it just came across as a stab at her 15 minutes of fame.  Of course the media is eating this story up, playing the sympathy card for this girl, whose fellow classmates now see her as a pariah.

To be fair, another argument was that her intentions might have been completely innocent, coming from a place where same-sex couplings might not be as accepted as other areas and in that case her act could be looked upon as a responsible, albeit a confused one.

The school was scared, that much is obvious, but they were still willing to set some conditions by which this girl could attend the prom. No tux, first of all, and then no outward signs of affection between the two girls. After all, they had the rest of the student body to be concerned about, how they would be made uncomfortable. I don’t know for certain, but I would guess that this girl’s main objective was not to perform any lewd acts in front of everyone there, she just wanted to attend her prom with the person in her life.

I agree it’s an unfortunate turn of events for the other students–and hindsight is 20/20–but in my and my friends’ opinions, she really should have just kept her intentions quiet and showed up at the prom and then waited for the fallout. She might have had those that now see her as the bad guy rally behind her at that point rather than making her the social outcast she says she feels like. Then if she wasn’t allowed in for homophobic reasons, then call in the media. Don’t invite trouble where there might not be any–unless that really was her ulterior motive.  I don’t really know if this is as much a case of gay rights as it is just a bad decision on her part although now the ACLU is involved and claiming the school district violated Constance’s right to freedom of expression.

And let’s see how the newts handled American Idol last night!


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