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Constance McMillen Responds To Gay Suicides

Illustration for article titled Constance McMillen Responds To Gay Suicides

Constance McMillen, whose school barred her from bringing a female date to the prom, says when she heard about the suicides of gay teens Seth Walsh and Tyler Clementi, "I was so upset about this that I could not sleep."

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In an interview with the AP, McMillen also stressed the importance of family support for gay teens, saying, "the family's acceptance is 100 times more important than people they go to school with. Whenever their family doesn't accept them, they feel like nobody's going to." McMillen's family has been supportive throughout her high-profile case — back in March, her grandma said,

I've always told my children, you are no better than anyone else. But you are just as good as anyone else. I raised them to stand up for what they believe in and not for being something they are not. I love them unconditionally. I'll always stand behind them. There's nothing you can do so I'd turn my back on you.

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It was the administrators at her school who seemed to lack human decency — according to the AP, McMillen "wasn't bullied until school officials canceled the prom rather than allow McMillen and her girlfriend to attend as a couple." So instead of fighting against bullying, her school basically incited it. It's sad that schools needed a "wake-up call" to protect the rights of LGBTQ students, but now that the suicides of young people like Walsh and Clementi have captured public attention, maybe McMillen's school district and everyone else will realize that supporting bullying is basically devaluing kids' lives.

Lesbian Who Sued Over Prom Talks About Gay Bullies [AP]

Related: Lesbian Teen Fights for Prom [Jackson Free Press]

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DISCUSSION

nefariousnewt-old
NefariousNewt

It is once more a war between those who see their bigotry as acceptable, and those who are the targets of such bigotry. Yes, it is a matter of civil rights, but more than that, human rights. Each of us, supposedly, has the right to be who we are, and are not required to conform to any standard save that of civil social behavior. That those who would look on the LGBT community as unworthy of consideration as what they are and allow their disgust at the existence of such to be so overt, is the bane of human society. This may turn out to be the fight that begins to close the door on abject hatred, but only if those of us who recognize the humanity of our LGBT brothers and sisters stand up to the bigots. We will not be cowed by these lickspittle sycophants — if they are unwilling to allow others their right to freedom and liberty, they would be better off elsewhere.