Surprise

Everyone seems ‘surprised’ by the recent events revolving around the teenage girl Constance, who was duped into going to a fake prom while everyone else went to a different one. Or that Derrick was kicked out by his parents for wanting something so simple and easy as taking his boyfriend to the prom. Really? You are surprised? What world have you been living in? Have we insulated ourselves behind our little bubbles (neighborhoods) that we have forgotten the harsh realities?

Just because I now live in the (make believe) mecca, I haven’t forgotten where I came from and what I went thru growing up. I have all the respect in the world for Constance and Derrick. They took the high road knowing it would create hardship. Granted they probably never realized how big it would become but still. They chose to stand-up and demand equality. They will go into adulthood with a sense of strength lacking in many of their classmates and be better for it.

The really surprising thing about this whole ordeal is that it took this long for it to come out (pun intended). How many of us over the years have gone thru the same or similar situation? I certainly knew I couldn’t bring my boyfriend to the prom way back when.1  Hell, they might have actually stoned me had I tried. These horrible ideals aren’t new or even surprising. As we become more visible in society more of our struggles will see the light of day. And while I can’t fault those who take the safe route in their lives, I can acknowledge and support those who do.

As the need for news and information has gone global, courtesy of the internet, people everywhere begin to see the harsh reality of what its sometimes like to grow up gay in America. We need to continue to focus on stories like this. We need to shine the light of day on those who would hide behind fear, ignorance, and religion to justify treating human beings less than human. The great thing about the ‘sensationalist’ approach a lot of media outlets have taken too these days is more of the crazies come forward and are exposed for exactly what they are.

  1. I didn’t go. I figured if I couldn’t bring who I really wanted, the hell with it. []

6 thoughts on “Surprise”

  1. Meh. It's good. It'll toughen them up some and teach them that being gay is something you hide until you are out of school and can support yourself.

    Cb ~ Hmmm? Not sure I exactly agree with that. I get the gist of your point though.

  2. I went to my prom with a girl and that night confirmed what I really knew; I actually wanted her brother.

    Like you, I'm surprised that folks are surprised at all this. We may have much more visibility and some degree of increased acceptance, but I don't believe we are as far as some of inside "bubbles" think we are.

  3. I'm not at all surprised. Being far from the Mecca, there are some places that the Attorney and I can't really go "together" without it being potentially damaging to his career. And we're grown men.

    But I try to look on the bright side. I imagine 20 years ago there would have been NO places around here we really could have. So, in some ways there has been progress.

  4. …because it is surprising? More importantly, it's clearly wrong-I think that's why the stories got so much media time. Without any polling data in front of me, I would bet that attitudes have rapidly changed over even the past 10 years in regard to acceptance of homosexuality.

    I'm from Texas, but nothing like either of these two cases ever happened to me or any of my high school friends. In fact we had the most boring, well adjusted coming out stories ever. Maybe we were just lucky.

    In both cases, I think these instances only serve to build their character, and you have to admire their decision to just be who they are.

    @Tom ~ I'm very happy to hear you had a 'boring well-adjusted coming out', but I'd argue you are the exception more than the rule. I can see how you might be surprised considering you never experienced it first-hand. As for the media, the stories are getting attention because it drives up sales not from any sort of moral compass.

  5. Has anyone read "Reflections of a Rock Lobster" by Aaron Fricke? In it, he describes winning his court case that allowed him to bring a same-sex date to his high school prom in Rhode Island in 1980. This case established a precendent for the entire U.S. (see "Aaron Fricke" on Wikipedia). I'll admit I thought the matter was decided way back then. On a related note, I have older female friends who were pro-choice activists when Roe -vs- Wade was decided. They admitted to me that they were caught off guard by the anti-abortion political victories that were gained starting under Reagan. "I thought we had fought this out already," as one friend said. Perhaps it's an inherent reality of social activism that the same battles have to be fought several times over.

  6. I came of age just after Aaron Fricke had sued his school in Cumberland, RI to take his boyfriend to the prom. That was in 1980.

    My coming out took the better part of a decade or more. Finally by 23 years old I was fully ready.

    FYI: I am Truthspew. But some asshat reported my blog and it's on suspension so I mirrored the whole thing at the site above.

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