The Night I Ditched My Gay Prom Date

The story of Constance McMillen's prom fiasco has been headline bait for weeks. The story is so absurd in so many ways, the mind reels. A lesbian isn't allowed to prom? Then the school throws a fake prom instead? It's like a bad episode of "Saved by the Bell." But while everyone rages about the Mississippi school - how could they do such a thing? what were they thinking? - all I can think about is those kids who went to the prom without her. I wonder if they'll regret their decision to celebrate their "night to remember" while shutting out a friend. I know I do.

My own prom date was a hilarious guy named Troy. He was tall, had half his head shaved, and loved punk rock. This was unusual enough for our sleepy Midwestern town, but on top of that, he was also the only openly gay student in our Catholic high school. Looking back, I'm astounded by the courage this must have taken; our school was far from progressive. We had a herd of farm boy football players who roamed the halls, and in between spitting into their Styrofoam dip cups, they liked to shout "faggot" at Troy and anyone else who didn't meet their approval.

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