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Lesbian Teen Sent To Decoy Prom While Other Kids Party At Real One

Illustration for article titled Lesbian Teen Sent To Decoy Prom While Other Kids Party At Real One

All the news had been good for Constance McMillen, who was supposed to bring her girlfriend to her school's privately sponsored prom on Friday. Except that prom was a decoy.

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The Advocate writes,

McMillen tells The Advocate that a parent-organized prom happened behind her back - she and her date were sent to a Friday night event at a country club in Fulton, Miss., that attracted only five other students. Her school principal and teachers served as chaperones, but clearly there wasn't much to keep an eye on.

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Making matters worse, McMillen's school may have ostracized disabled kids at the fake prom as well. The Advocate also says:

Two students with learning difficulties were among the seven people at the country club event, McMillen recalls. "They had the time of their lives," McMillen says. "That's the one good thing that come out of this, [these kids] didn't have to worry about people making fun of them [at their prom]."

McMillen continues to sound preternaturally wise and clear-headed, in a situation that would test anyone's faith in humanity. And if the allegations of a real prom held somewhere else are true, her classmates sound unworthy to go to school with her. Of the rumors of an alternate prom for the straight and able-bodied students at Itawamba Agricultural High, Gawker initially wrote, "this could all be untrue scuttlebutt, but we find it hard to believe that all those kids really wouldn't go to their big dance just because one girl and her date were there, unless they had another place to party that same night." And indeed, Facebook photos soon revealed that other kids from McMillen's school were at some prom Friday night, and there were more than seven people in attendance.

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According to the blog of a Mississippi lawyer, the teens may have had help planning their fake-out. Tom Freeland writes that after the cancellation of the school's prom, parents set up an alternate — but they didn't want McMillen to attend. So they pretended to cancel their prom, but really moved it to a secret location. Even worse, Freeland writes, "there's a rumor that school officials were directly involved in setting up the 'fake' prom." It's not clear if this is true, or what, if any, involvement adults had in sending McMillen to a decoy prom, but it seems unlikely that a group of teenagers could have both organized and funded a last-minute secret prom on their own.

The fact that anyone was willing to go to such lengths to exclude and belittle a teenager is pretty terrifying — it seems that denying McMillen the right to dance with everyone else was worth quite a lot of money and hassle to the people of Itawamba County School District. And unless there's some other explanation for the sparse attendance at McMillen's prom, and the grinning Facebook photos at the other one, McMillen's school must suffer from a deeply toxic atmosphere. McMillen actually seems relatively undaunted by her continued persecution, but the students who excluded her will have to live with the memory that they brutally tricked a classmate simply because of the gender of her date. They'll grow up believing that any deviation from a heterosexual (and able-bodied) standard is cause for elaborate ostracism. I don't envy them.

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McMillen: I Was Sent To Fake Prom [Advocate]
Where's Constance? Photos From A Private Prom [La Figa]
Did A Mississippi School Stage A Fake Prom For A Lesbian And Her Date? [Gawker]
What Happened At Constance McMillen's Prom [NMissCommentor]

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DISCUSSION

trixiebelle
trixiebelle

From one of her classmates......

**Open Minded Readers Only**

I am a senior at IAHS, and I’ve known Constance for the last 6 years. Please hear our side of the story before you decide on our fate.

The party we had in Evergreen (the county neighborhood I live in) is 30 mins away from the school. we rented out the community center, hired vendors, decorated, and our parents ran the security/chaperone staff- but it wasn’t prom. Prom was at the country club where constance and 7 other students were. The reason the senior class boycotted the actual prom was not because we hate gays. We wanted a drama-free gathering to celebrate 3 great years and 1 lousy one together, and we wanted to lay low. We also wanted to do it without the main cause of the lousy. What people are failing to realize is that much of the fault of this whole stink lies with Constance, not her mistreatment by the school district, but her crazy-reckless need for attention. It sounds mean and horrible and like we planned it all specifically to embarrass Constance, but we didn’t. We let her have her prom with her girlfriend and her tuxedo and we went to party it up in the "boondocks" not because we wanted her rights violated, but so we could salvage what has turned into a total fiasco. As a whole we didn’t support her decision to throw the district under the bus, or her insinuations that we’re all just a bunch ‘a hicks driving around in beater pick up trucks spitting tobacco and burning crosses. IAHS is one of the top schools in the state and I’m proud of that, and I’m proud that we took a stand and just said you know what? forget it, we have just as much right as you do to have a party for ourselves. So we did, and now we’re getting flack because poor Connie’s ego got a bit of bruising. She’s playing the lesbian card to prove she ALWAYS gets what she wants. This time, we didn’t just let her.

Take it as you will, because I’m sure it sounds like we faked her out, but understand this- the decision NOT to attend prom had nothing to do with the school or with Constance’s sexual preferences; it had everything to do with proving we weren’t going to let her and the ACLU steamroll us into doing what Constance wanted. We flexed the muscle of the majority and we’ll suffer the consequences.