Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 04/7/2010

Constance McMillen: I’m Sorry People Where You Live Seriously Suck

As if things don’t suck enough for Constance McMillen in Itawamba County, where she was initially banned from her prom because she wanted to NOT have to hide the fact that she’s gay and bring her girlfriend as her date…they just got a little worse. In case you missed the first post about Constance McMillen, here’s her appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show to catch you up:

So, when things were looking like they might turn around the fine people of Itawamba decided that that couldn’t possibly happen. Clearly, the outrage of such OFFENSIVENESS as a gay couple (21st century people…21st century) called for the parents to get involved and do something truly heinous.

The Advocate is reporting that Constance McMillen and her date, in addition to five other students (two of which have been reported to have learning disabilities) were sent to a separate prom that was school chaperoned while a parent-organized prom for the rest of the class was held elsewhere.

This bit of news left me with a few questions.

Question 1: Do the people of Itawamba listen to the news…just…at all?

I mean Jesus God. You would think that even if just the common sense of “Oh, hey, maybe these people ALSO deserve civil rights even if for some idiotic reason I don’t agree with a lifestyle that is completely none of my business,” didn’t sink in, the hordes of negative attention being thrown at this community by the media would knock some sense into them. But no, even the parents are now getting in on getting the evil lesbians and all other kids who are different in any way out of the emblem of societal conformation that is prom. I guess the power of complete hatred towards a bright young woman because of her sexuality cancels out the overwhelming reaction of a nation…and again, that pesky common sense.

Question 2: Do these PARENTS have nothing else to do?

I mean when it all comes down to it this is prom we’re talking about it. If we take away the issues of gay rights, though it is a large and important one in this circumstance, no doubt, these parents are really putting a shit ton of effort into a freakin prom. But I guess it’s not just the prom, is it? They are trying to save the innocence and morality possessed by their poor children. God forbid they be exposed to diversity – some power from above would probably smite them.

Question 3: How can Constance possibly still want to go to this prom?

Yes, I completely understand the principle of her still wanting – and really, needing – to go to prom. But just to get right down to it – if I were in her place I would really rather sit at home doing a mega-marathon of John Hughes movies with my significant other, actually having a good time, rather than immersed in the sweaty pit of close-mindedness that would be that prom. As Constance herself said about the kids who attended the “alternative prom”- “They had the time of their lives. That’s the one good thing that came out of this, [these kids] didn’t have to worry about people making fun of them [at their own prom].” I mean, damn straight. But then again, I’m probably just projecting my prom-hate and low tolerance for people who hate other people for no freakin reason onto Constance. It really is great that she wants to get to that damn prom.

I don’t know that I’ll ever get answers to these questions, but I do have something to say about Constance. She’s clearly brave and smart – if nothing else, she should just know that she’s going to do great things and is going to be more than fine from here on out while her precious classmates stew in their own hatred until it drowns them.

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  • Katherine C. @ at 11:40 am, April 7th, 2010

    This is horrible- and just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse
    :(

  • Laura H @ at 11:53 am, April 7th, 2010

    That’s just awful. She really is so brave to stand up for what she knows is right and still want to go. What a great young woman, and role model.

  • Vimbai @ at 12:21 pm, April 7th, 2010

    The whole thing is just horrible and makes me wonder what century we’re living in.

  • Deanna @ at 12:54 pm, April 7th, 2010

    I kind of want to buy that poor girl a bus ticket to Atlanta and then personally escort her to Decatur just to show her that there are places where the lesbians are happy and plentiful and the heteros are fine with that fact!

  • Amy CT @ at 12:55 pm, April 7th, 2010

    As a Brit, I openly admit to having no idea about the concept of an American prom (here, it’s no big deal. I went CAMPING rather than go to mine, and couldn’t have given a ****), but if she wants to go, she wants to go, and no one should stop her.

    I can’t believe that kind of discrimination is LEGAL in “the land of the free”. I’m pretty sure that, if it happened here, there would be some law stopping it.

    Not that it would happen here, because prom is no big deal, but I’m sure you get the impression…

    (Excuse quotes. Spent all day listening to Dixie Chicks, and have masses of anti-red-neck anger to vent).

  • Dia @ at 4:14 pm, April 7th, 2010

    All I know is those people are really mad now because I know they thought she was going to break because they didn’t accept her and she ended up getting a college scholarship out of the deal. If I were her I’d go to a college out of state.Even if it’s more it’ll certainly be worth it.

  • Valerie B. @ at 6:25 pm, April 7th, 2010

    Well, heck. That’s some good-old fashioned Southern closed-mindedness for you. Not every one down here is like that, but it’s pretty common. (Diversity IS quite a terrifying thing, you know)

  • Hannah @ at 8:07 pm, April 7th, 2010

    Ugh, people can be so stupid. You go Constance!

  • Samuel W. @ at 9:04 pm, April 7th, 2010

    This has to be the lowest point I have seen this ultra-conservative Christian anti-gay brigade hit in my lifetime. They deceive this poor girl and divert her to a seven-person prom just so they can propagate their own dubious theories about what the bible says. Have they even read that book all the way through? The bible says a LOT of weird things that we don’t follow today, the alleged “thou shall not lay mankind with womankind” quote aside. Just give it up, Moral Majority agenda folks. You can’t make everyone in the US worship God and vote Republican, or even vote at all for that matter. This is why I’m atheist and also admire Billy Graham, for rejecting religion’s cross-breeding with conservative politics.

  • Samuel W. @ at 9:32 pm, April 7th, 2010

    Plus, Constance & her girlfriend ought to move to my hometown of Iowa City, where they could even get married one day if they wanted with the law passed last April :)

  • michelle @ at 10:56 pm, April 7th, 2010

    it’s gets worse, apparently another student at the same school called the ACLU earlier this year because she was a trans student that they suspended and refused to give a reason why.

    http://www.shewired.com/Article.cfm?ID=24709

    i think they win the worst school award!

  • Valerie B. @ at 5:05 pm, April 8th, 2010

    I just made a connection: My dad’s Christian, sexist, close-minded, homophobic and Conservative parents? Yeah. They’re from the same county. They’re mad at Constance for getting the prom cancelled. “Why must she make such a fuss?” Good Lord, I wonder why.

  • BUBBA @ at 2:02 am, April 9th, 2010

    This is the biggest hoax and all you bashers ate it up. Connie is not gay. Bi, yes but not gay. She has and still dates and has sex with men aka boys. The prom started out as a joke and got way out of hand and Connie loved the attention plus all the benefits that came her way. That is why the students, parents and faculty of IAHS did not put up with all the BS. There’s a difference in supporting the right cause or giving in to a total lie.

  • toongrrl @ at 3:30 pm, April 10th, 2010

    Poor Constance.

  • liz4 @ at 7:54 pm, April 12th, 2010

    Bubba-How can you say this is the biggest hoax ever??!! It does not matter if she is gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. The point it that it is discrimination. How is it that if it were a hoax that she got onto Ellen’s show? How is it that it is all over the news? Was it just something to talk about? Do you really think that Ellen would take time out of her show to bring on a girl who was making a big deal out of nothing? And so what if Connie has sex with boys? Its discrimination and that is the reality of the whole issue.

  • Courtney B @ at 4:48 pm, April 14th, 2010

    I hate to bring more bad news for Constance, but it doesn’t end after high school. I actually attend a college where the administration was so appalled at two girls holding hands that the girls hockey coach told them if they were caught holding hands again they would be benched from games regardless of their performances on the rink. These things happen all the time and I am glad that someone finally got some attention over it!

  • Michelle @ at 9:46 pm, April 23rd, 2010

    I am so glad that Constance has so much support out there. That is what she needs. Like Ellen said, she is suh a brave young woman, and deserves so much in life. You can ttell that she will go far in this, ssometimes cruel world. She isn’t taking any bull, and she will always stand up for what she believes in. She truely is a role model for other young women. I hope that more LGBTQ students will be more open with their sexuality now. Then maybe more people will understand.

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