For many of America’s youth, Prom is one of the biggest nights of their young life…dressing elegantly, riding in limos, and dancing closely with your sweetheart. So why is one high school in Mississippi forbidding a student to attend her prom and take part in her teenage history?
Simply because she wanted to wear a tuxedo and bring her girlfriend as her date, Constance McMillan was told she wasn’t welcome at The Itawamba Agricultural High School Prom, and that if they tried to attend separately and slow-dance, they would be promptly kicked out.
Now if that’s not discrimination, I don’t know what is. Luckily, Constance is a strong, empowered young woman and knew her rights. She wouldn’t take no for an answer. Instead, she went straight to the ACLU, who submitted a letter to the school district on her behalf, urging them to allow Constance to attend. Rather than coming to their senses, however, the school district reacted by canceling the prom altogether, therefore bringing an avalanche of hostility upon poor Constance. So now the ACLU is taking the fight to court, where they are suing the school district in hopes to reinstate the prom for all students, and allow Constance her right to attend, as her true self, with her girlfriend by her side.
Thanks to the powers of social media (“Let Constance Take Her Girlfriend To Prom” has over 250,000 fans on Facebok) and several high-profile media interviews, Constance has been able to bring her message of equality to the national stage. After watching interviews with this well-balanced, well-spoken young lady, I am impressed with her self-assurance and the fact that she knew she could go to an organization like the ACLU for help. “That’s how I was raised,” Constance shared on her CBS News Interview, “To always be yourself and to be proud of who you are.” Amen. You go, girl.
Rachel Znerold is an artist and independent fashion designer living the good life in San Francisco, CA. www.rachelzart.com