Constance McMillen: I was sent to a fake prom

constance mcmillen

There are just no words for this kind of wrong.

The Advocate interviewed Constance McMillen this week– the high school senior whose Mississippi school canceled prom because she wanted to bring her girlfriend — to discover that McMillen was sent to a “fake prom” this past weekend while the rest of her class had prom at a secret location organized by parents.

When Constance won her case in court, which decided that she couldn’t be barred from prom, the judge also didn’t force the school to hold prom because a parent-sponsored, private prom was already being organized (which Constance and her date were to be invited to). However, Constance wasn’t invited to the prom and said the organizers seemed to go out of their way to keep information from her about it. Then the event was supposedly canceled last minute, and Constance was sent to the country club for the new prom location — only to find 7 other students there with her teachers and principal. She tells the Advocate:

“They had two proms and I was only invited to one of them,” McMillen says. “The one that I went to had seven people there, and everyone went to the other one I wasn’t invited to.”

Last week McMillen asked one of the students organizing the prom for details about the event, and was directed to the country club. “It hurts my feelings,” McMillen 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].”

It’s just disgusting that even when the law upholds justice in cases like this, bigotry and hate still manages to somehow rear its ugly head. This makes all the more clear that it’s not just laws that need to change, but the larger culture of hate and intolerance that is pushed at us from every angle. These parents should be fucking ashamed of themselves.

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53 Comments

  1. Nicole
    Posted April 7, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    “When the price is hatred and exclusion, which is basically what these other kids paid to go to prom, then it’s baffling. And in 20 years, I doubt that the majority of them will remember the awesome time they had at prom because they’ll be too embarrassed for having acted like a bunch of snots.”
    Thank you for saying this! I am sensing a common thread here of “these parents were all assholes,” and yeah, the parents deserve it. But the students need to accept some responsibility here too. When one considers how much careful planning would have gone into this massive deception, it’s almost impressive. I’ll echo kay.bax’s statement that it sounds like something from a movie. And it’s really depressing that not even one student – not one single person – gave her a heads-up that this was going on.
    I remember prom. At the time, it seemed so important. I can understand being upset that a classmate isn’t allowed to go, but still going, because to some teenagers, it’s the most important thing in the world. But actively participating in the trickery that keeps this student away is a whole other story. I hope these kids are ashamed of themselves as well. The parents may have funded the event, but the students condoned it, and all of its deception, by playing along.
    This is a real wake-up call to those of us who sometimes forget that our generation isn’t one that is immune to heterosexism.

  2. ShyFoxie
    Posted April 7, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    This just breaks my heart. Really. Not inviting someone to your party because you don’t like them for whatever reason…I can deal with that. Deliberately organizing an elaborate deception so that your kids aren’t around gay and “special” students…that’s low. I’m pretty sure there’s a special circle in hell for that.

  3. rebekah
    Posted April 7, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    http://contexts.org/socimages/2009/11/05/support-for-same-sex-marriage-by-age-and-state/
    eat. your. words.
    I will say it again AGEISM!!!!!! Vanessa, please stop these people from spewing their crap.

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