The story of Sullivan, Indiana and its proposed “no gays” prom is making its way across the internet like wildfire. First, a number of sites are reporting the story incorrectly. They are not attempting to ban gays from the actual prom, they are attempting to hold a separate prom that gays would not be allowed to attend. It does not make it less disgusting, it just moves it into the realm of truly offensive free speech and free assembly if they hold a private event that is privately funded and not associated in any way with the public education system. So really, as long as it’s just a “bigots only” dance, they can do it. Of course, judging from the intelligence of those involved, likely they’ll do something incorrectly and run afoul of some discrimination statute that allows them to be punished in the appropriate legal manner.
Watch the actual news story here for the facts: Sullivan bigots in their own words
There are so many jokes to make about the Special Ed teacher that my brain is bleeding. Suffice it to say that she clearly needs a helmet of her own for walking around in public, and I hope she manages to get all her clothes on correctly before the short bus picks her up from the institution every morning.
Plenty is being said on the ludicrous nature of this prom, I will nod in complete agreement with all of it and move on to something I’m more curious about. Sullivan, Indiana is a town of 4200 people or so according to the 2010 census. The high school has an enrollment of around 600 kids. We are not talking about a major metropolitan area, there is unlikely a great deal of diversity (yes, I’m happy to make presumptive generalizations at the moment) and it’s probably far-fetched to think that PFLAG or a Gay-Straight Alliance has made any inroads at Sullivan High.
So why the big line in the sand about not having gays at the prom? How many can there possibly be at Sullivan High? And even more so, how many loud and proud out gays can there be? Is this a generalized objection to the secularization of society and liberal influence in the school system? Or is it something more sinister?
It hasn’t come out yet, and I hope it does not, but my greater concern is that this is a targeted effort at a single student or small group of students. It appears, from this quick-to-judge-bigots outsider’s perspective, that if there are gay students at Sullivan High School, or simple a small group of outsiders in the stereotypical high school sense, they are already extremely alone in the world they live in already. My fear is that they are somewhere privately feeling specifically targeted in this extremely small town under the focus of a witch hunt disguised as moral objection.
No press outlet has yet interviewed any gay students, or parents of gay students, though a few with objections to this moronic display have been shown. So it is my hope that if and when the students who are likely being specifically targeted for exclusion come forward or are revealed, that we will see rallying around them as even more important than lambasting this hateful endeavor. It is extremely like that there is an adolescent boy or girl in Sullivan, Indiana watching this story shoot around the world and feeling like it’s all because of them. Because of who they are. And I hope they know from the righteous indignation being expressed by so many that they are truly not alone. Because it may feel that way for them right now. I hope we get to meet them at some point in this process so we can share our love loudly and specifically. High school is hard. We all know that. Even harder if you are different for any immediately mockable reason. So as we get angry at the hateful individuals proudly on display, let’s remember and prepare to welcome those few kids who may be suffering in silence hoping the whole thing will just go away.
Besides, what prom is really going to be all that great if you don’t let the gays come handle the music, the decorations and obviously the dancing. And to all those conservative Christian parents with daughters – reconsider – that gay boy dancing his ass off in the center of the prom with your daughter and her friends thinks her dress is really pretty – and isn’t going to try to have sex with her.