Itawamba Agricultural High School student Constance McMillen is a hero. She’s paid a tremendous cost at the age of 18, no less, for standing up to the bigotry in her hometown over this debacle of attending the school prom with her girlfriend.
How many of our professional gays have put themselves on the line for equality like this? Not to take away from the work orgs do, but it’s acts like Constance’s that show how one individual can expose and challenge ignorance and fear. The average gay person living in flyover country is bolstered by courageous efforts to simply be treated equally in a hostile environment. It’s a sobering thought that she stood up to fight against an ENTIRE TOWN. No one stepped in to tell her about the fake prom, not even any of her peers. That’s immense peer pressure to avoid any support of TEH GAY at any cost in Fulton, Mississippi.
She lost, but she actually won – respect and support from around the country, as well as legal help from the ACLU. She didn’t back down or hide.
Given Constance’s sacrifice, one has to ask an obvious question — when it comes time to go to college, it’s pretty clear she will need to leave the state to be able to experience social acceptance and support. Do you think she should return to her hometown one day, after she’s been away for a good long time, to effect change, or leave it as the bigoted sh*thole, stuck back in time? Yes or no and explain why.
UPDATE: More evil in Fulton, from Firedoglake’s Lisa Derrick @ LaFiga; the proud homophobic students grin at how they pulled off their straights-only prom with photos posted on public FB and Flickr pages.
I can see some of the same dresses in these pictures posted by different students.
Just a reminder to the non-white kids who went to this event: Forty-five years ago, in Birmingham, Alabama the same stunt got pulled on a black girl. Think about civil rights for moment.
And if that’s not fucked up enough, now there’s a FB group called Constance, Quit Yer Cryin
Okay. My work here is done.