Sadly, our gay teenage friend will not have a prom. The judge denied a motion for a preliminary injunction but ruled to hold a trial – at a later date. Prom was supposed to be in two weeks. Guess that gets him out of actually having to make a judgment. Good thing that is not in his job description or anything.
Honestly, I think the only true lesson to be learned here is one my brother-in-law taught me years ago. He was referring to his habit of coming home with new cars without telling his wife he had bought them, but I think it covers all sorts of bases. His lesson? “Ask forgiveness, not permission.” Our out and proud teenager could have simply bought two tickets and left it open ended as to whom she would bring. If she absolutely had to write down a date’s name, she could have lied. In fact, there are many ways she could have gotten into prom. Once there, do you think they actually would have denied her entrance? Do you think the teachers stuck on prom duty would have been willing to make a stand and show her the door? They might have gossiped in a corner, but that’s what I assume all teachers do about students, so no biggie there.
Let’s be real. Do you honestly and truly believe that when our intrepid gay heroine showed up at prom, with a woman on her arm and a tux on her body, that a hush would have fallen over the crowd? Do you believe all conversation would have ceased as she and her date proudly walked through the parting sea of students onto the dance floor as a spotlight magically followed them to their first dance? That really only happens in movies. In real life, you can’t shut teenagers up with duct tape and getting them to move en masse is like herding cats. The girl is a senior in her school. She’s an out lesbian. I’m pretty sure her fellow students had a certain expectation of how she would dress. Showing up in an evening gown with a boy? Well that would have been news? But a chick and a tux? Peshaw.
So where does this leave us? As my sister-in-law pointed out, 20 years ago (damn, she’s old), her prom was cancelled in fear that blacks and whites would co-mingle. At my prom, only a scant two years later than hers but in a different part of the country, not only did blacks and whites co-mingle, they were flat out coupling. I have pictures on FB to prove it. Maybe even now, there are prom committees shaking their heads and wondering what all the fuss is about as they plan playlists jam packed with Adam Lambert, Elton John, George Michael, Rufus Wainright, and Clay Aiken (ok, no one under 45 listens to the Gayken). Maybe even now there are proms fully expecting girls in tuxes and boys in drag. Who knows? But if she had just shown up and tried to dance the futterwack vigorously, none of this would have happened. But it has. And it’s a shame.