COCHRAN, GA — An 18-year-old senior named Derrick Martin went to the school administration requesting his out of county boyfriend be allowed to attend the prom as his date.
After the principal took the step of asking Bleckley County school officials permission in January to take another boy to the prom, Martin got word last week that his high school will allow it.
The article goes on to explain that Derrick is not fully welcome among his peers since he came out sophomore year and that he plans to “take out insurance on my tux,” just in case it gets damaged. Just a casual nod to the hostility this young man anticipates and lives with as part of his high school experience.
In addition the author notes that a sampling of residents Monday drew plenty of objections to Martin’s plan, but few people were willing to give their name. So, let’s celebrate this victory for Derrick, but be very honest about how very little ground is gained when an 18-year-old student suggests he plans insure his tux in case of homophobic trouble on prom night. Read the full story here.
I sure hope Derrick’s parents follow the example of Constance McMillen’s father Michael. When Constance’s school district decided to cancel prom rather than allow her to attend and bring her girlfriend, the murmurs of hostility grew quite a bit louder. Michael told Ellen in this recent interview that he put the school principal on notice that Constance’s safety was his personal responsibility:
See the exchange at minute 5 of the interview:
Ellen: (speaking to Constance) Congratulations for having such a great dad.
Ellen: (speaking to Constance’s father in the audience) Now what’s your name, I’m sorry.
Ellen: Micheal, now and are you… were you nervous about your daughter going to school after that happened. That there would be some kind of retaliation?
Michael: I wasn’t nervous until the decision was made to cancel. And then she called me and told me she left early because it was kind of a hostile environment. And then I made a call to the principal and just let him know that I was holding them completely responsible if anything were to happen to her.
Ellen: Um hm. Yea, well a lot of people are watching now, I don’t think anything is going to happen. And I think more people when they realize… they need to be on your side….