Gay Students go to Prom

Discussion in 'Youth Forum' started by Jude, Jun 12, 2003.

  1. Jude

    Jude
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    When Sophia Lanza-Weil arrived at her Portland, Oregon prom a few weeks ago with her girlfriend of one year, Adriyn Hayes, it garnered barely a notice. "She wore a suit but I wanted to wear a dress," said Lanza-Weil

    Out at the Prom

    More gay teens than ever are taking same-sex dates to prom. And instead of sparking controversy, schools are saying, what’s the big deal?

    By Julie Scelfo
    NEWSWEEK WEB EXCLUSIVE
    June 9 — Allen Wolff readied himself for prom like millions of other teenage boys. On the afternoon of May 25, the 17-year-old from Syracuse, New York, showered and shaved, leaving intact a thin goatee, donned a rental tux and silver vest, then coated his normally spiky locks with a generous portion of hair gel.

    AFTER ESCORTING HIS date into the balloon-enhanced splendor of the Baker High School prom, he enjoyed a night that he later described as “absolutely amazing.” “We danced, ate chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate chip cannolis, and drank lots and lots of soda,” he reported. Yet unlike the other boys at the dance, the date on his arm was not a winsome girl in a graceful dress, but Misko Lencek-Inagaki, a boy in a black tux and silver bowtie.
    Allen and Misko are joining peers from Wisconsin to West Virginia in revolutionizing the traditional high school prom. More gay teens than ever are turning out for this year’s big night in gowns and tuxes—or gowns and gowns, or tuxes and tuxes. But instead of sparking controversy, schools across the country are welcoming them. “It’s exploding,” says Alice Leeds, a spokesperson for Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, a nationwide advocacy group known as PFLAG. Brenda Melton, president of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), says that it has become almost commonplace in urban and suburban areas for a student to bring a date of the same sex to the prom—and that in most schools, it’s really no big deal.
    Today’s school administrators say they want an event that’s welcoming for everyone. In fact, officials are vastly more concerned about “bellybuttons and low-cut outfits” than whether a student is holding hands with a member of the same sex. Ritch Savin-Williams, a psychology professor at Cornell University who has been studying gay and bisexual teens for three decades, says he used to clip news articles about the rare teen who dared to out him or herself at prom. Now, he says, “I don’t even cut them out anymore because it’s no big deal. Now it’s like ‘eh, who cares?’”
    Such indifference is a reaction gay teenagers in earlier generations could only dream about. In 1980, a Rhode Island youth named Aaron Fricke had to fight all the way up to the U.S. District Court for permission to bring a friend, Paul, to the Cumberland High School prom. Although the court ruled that making a statement about sexuality is federally protected free speech, the date was still considered so scandalous that it made national headlines.

    Sophia Lanza-Weil and Adriyn Hayes say they were accepted at the Franklin High School prom just like anyone else.

    But when Sophia Lanza-Weil arrived at her Portland, Oregon prom a few weeks ago, it garnered barely a notice. “She wore a suit but I wanted to wear a dress,” said Lanza-Weil, who shared the night with her girlfriend, Adriyn Hayes. “We’ve been dating for over a year. So I don’t think it was a big shock to anyone that we walked through the door....We actually had a very good time.”
    Over the last few decades, a significant shift has taken place in how society views lesbians and gays. In contrast to past decades—when images of homosexuals were either crude stereotypes or non-existent—today people with alternate sexual orientations appear everywhere from MTV to The New York Times’ wedding announcement pages. Even if homosexuality is not fully accepted, it’s at least acknowledged, making it far easier for young gay people to identify themselves as such.
    As a result, kids are coming out at younger ages: One study by Cornell University’s Savin-Williams puts the average age of first self-identification at 16 for males and 17 for females, down from the early-to-mid-twenties in the 1970s. Also, high school clubs that promote awareness of gay issues—and which also offer gay and bisexual teens a safe place to be themselves—are flourishing throughout the country. Kevin Jennings, a former history teacher who sponsored one of the first Gay-Straight Alliances (GSA) in 1989 in Concord, Massachusetts, now heads a national association of the clubs, called GLSEN, which includes more than 1,750 affiliates in all 50 states, up from 900 in 2001. Armed with support and validation from these clubs, kids are demanding the full privileges of their straight peers. “Prom is the central social ritual of high school life, and anyone who goes to high school knows that,” says Jennings. “For [non-straight] students, it’s an important symbol of whether or not they’re really part of a community. They don’t want just a ‘separate but equal’ prom. They want to be part of the main prom, too.”
    School administrators seem to agree that there’s no reason these kids shouldn’t be themselves. “I went to the administration and asked if it was all right if I wore a tuxedo and went to prom with a girl,” said Jennifer Vaught of Aurora, Colorado. “They said, ‘All right, sure,’ ... It was kind of funny, when we first got to prom [my date Ashley and I] had to go to the bathroom. When I walked in there, everybody stopped putting on their makeup and looked at me strange. Then I told them, ‘It’s all right, I’m a girl, too.’ And they were like, ‘Phew!’” Nick Burrows, a junior at North High School in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, said the biggest problem he faced at the prom was from disbelieving peers. “Some of them were kind of confused, trying to figure out whether it was a joke or something like that,” says Burrows, who attended with a friend named Andy. “But most people either know me, or already know [that I’m gay] so it wasn’t really a big deal.”
    Despite the fact that most of Gen Y may be at ease watching two male classmates boogie down on the dance floor, it remains too taboo for many people to accept. In May, the ACLU’s Lesbian and Gay Rights Project received a phone call from a troubled bisexual girl in Utah who went to the prom and danced with her girlfriend until a teacher asked them to leave midway through the night. “Their prom has a promenade where everyone is introduced. They were in line to do the [walk] when the teacher tapped one of them on the arm and said ‘You’re not a boy!’ and kicked them out,” says ACLU’s Paul Cates. “The girls were very upset.”
    But kids who dare to out themselves at prom say they’re receiving expressions of support, too. “At one point, this girl came up to us and by the look on her face, I’m thinking, ‘Oh God, here it comes,’” recounts Allen Wolff. “Instead she said, ‘I’m proud of what you guys are doing. It really takes guts. I support you all the way.’ That was just amazing.” Amazing indeed.

    © 2003 Newsweek, Inc.
     
  2. UnashamedYouth

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    this may sound unbaptist-ish... but it's no more disgusting than the ones that make out or the ones who wear the hooker dresses... we had our first gay couple at prom this year... it was disgusting and they were "outcasted" practically the whole night... you end up dancing in groups anyway so why kick them around?
     
  3. MissAbbyIFBaptist

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    But that is still absolutly revolting! GAG! Major gag! ewww! Makes me feel sick just thinkin about that!
    I nearly got sick in the hall at school once,when I saw two boys hugging in a corner. {It's just good that a lot of the kids still think I teach there, so they don't say anything when I break that kinda stuff up! :D }
    And I don't care what the ACLU, or any liberal person says. I don't even care what a Christian says. God's word calls it an abomination! THAT'S WHAT IT STILL IS FOLKS! Sorry, but God's word hasn't changed a bit from the time God inspired it centurys ago,to a few decades ago, or to today. It's still filthy and wicked, and SIN! And I'm apalled that that sort of thing is allowed in our schools so freely. What is WRONG with people?! Why don't we get ourselves some convictions and take a stand!? Sodomy is still wicked, so why aren't more Christians standing against this? PItiful. And to think the schools teach now, that it's ok to be a sodomite. That "God made you that way." I got news for you! A god {ie SATAN!} may get you to think that but THE GOD, the one true God, my Saviour, does not MAKE PEOPLE THAT WAY!
    And yes Ashamed youth, it is absolutly gross to see em wearing their short dresses, and such. Makes me sick.
    Well I am thankful Christ died for them too, and is still willing to forgive them and save em. Course once they get saved, they won't be a sodomite anymore! But I am glad God saves from ALL sin.
    God didn't make em like that, but He will save em from that!
    ~Miss Abby [​IMG]
     
  4. UnashamedYouth

    UnashamedYouth
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    Abby while I agree it's gross and an abomination... I hate the fact that a lot of Christians find it an excuse to gay bash. I'm not saying you are... but I am so sick of people outcasting them when murder/theft/premarital sex/other abominations just get a shrug of the shoulders... sin is sin... love the gay sinner just as much as you would any other.
     
  5. AdoptedDaughter

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    Welcome to the world...why is it that we are so shocked when things like this happen? This world is not a sin-free world, it's a lost world, and it's no surprise that people are becoming more comfortable about coming out of the 'closet'. Now...here's a question, should we as Christian completely ignore these people, or should we befriend them?
     
  6. MissAbbyIFBaptist

    MissAbbyIFBaptist
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    Unashamed, I realize those sins are just as bad, but the topic was not about that. Yes, we need to love them and do our best to win them to Christ. Like any other sinner, they need to realize what they are doing is wrong. I was not trying to bash "Them" but their sin. I hate sin. Any kind. It put our Saviour on the cross, and He siffred agonizing pain, not only physical, but His heart hurt because of sin. Had it been a topic on another issue, I would still agree that is is wicked and wrong, and calls for repentacne as well.
    This type of lifestyle is becomming more accepted, but unlike other sins the government sees no problem. If I went out and killed someone, there would definatly be reprecussions I would face. But if I went and declaied myself a "lesbian" people wouldn't think anything of it {well besides my parents kiling me, that is!} If I robbed someone, I would have to pay, but if I had a girlfriend, I would still be accpeted amongst the world. I've never heard of anyone saying God made them a murderer, or theif, or child molester, or anything like that, {there may be cases, I'm just saying I've not known of any} but yet these that live in this lifestyle of sin can get away with saying that.
    And I also realize Adopted Daughter, that it shouldn't come as a shock that it's more accepted now. After all it HAS been going on since Bible days, it's just that now people call themselves "gay" proudly. And that's pitiful. Sin is sin, and it's all bad. There I agree. And it dosn't surprise me as much as you'd think. I've seen it in my own town, but that DOES NOT mean we should become acostomed to it. As in the case of ANY sin.
    Yes, God can save these sinners, just like He can anyother sinner. And He can change their life, and use them for His glory. He can call them for service, and use them to win souls. God is still saving whosoever will call upon His name. He loves us all, and died for us. And I love people, and want them to come to salvation. I just don't love what people do, and I don't beleive we should allow sin to be as rampant as it is today. Sin still needs to be preached against, and condemned, but also Christ, and His love should be held up too. But you can't have one without the other. You can't always preach on God is love, because you DO reap the result of sin. And you can't always preach judgement because God does have compassion. They go together to convict and convert a sinner. No matter what they've done.
    ~Miss Abby [​IMG]
     
  7. UnashamedYouth

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    as I said before... I don't like how Christians SINGLE gays out as a rule... this stuff happens every day as does murder and premarital sex(which is another one that is a sin but the government doesn't give a hoot) I don't see any board posting every link of another murder or the whatnot... if we're not going to start doing that then don't bring stuff about gay people on here.

    As I said on another thread, I have a friend who is dealing with his sexuality right now(and I'm losing the argument dreadfully) I'm not going to stop loving him like a brother nor am I going to think "ewwwwwwwwww he's untouchable 'cuz he's gay"

    you may not be wanting to seem like that's what you're saying but that's what the feeling of this thread is. It's not a *sigh* yet another sinner to love... it's a ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww how gross...

    quite frankly on Christian boards all these types of threads end up as are gaybashing threads...
     

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