A Solo Gay Prom, King’s Crown Included

May 10, 2011 § 70 Comments

…we danced, swaying side to side wrapped in each other’s arms – our tuxedos framing our matching vests. He peered into my eyes and I gazed into his; their shimmering eluding to his soft smile soon to broaden from cheek to cheek. And there, under the multi-colored lights whose glow caressed Carl’s face, Aerosmith’s “don’t wanna miss a thing” having just concluded happily, as we stood with all of my peers at my Senior prom…

I was announced prom king. Except in truth, my crowning wasn’t preceded by a dance with my boyfriend but instead a brief dash from an outdoor balcony where I was chatting with friends/my female date and subsequently missed my name being called, for my boyfriend and I did not go to prom together as mentioned previously.The aforementioned scenario is one I romanticized back when I thought I could take him to prom. But I am fortunate enough to have won prom king and Carl and I still had our special dance, thus “saving” my gay prom experience even if it was one day later – it made my prom complete.

From left to right: my date, myself, my best friend, my boyfriend

For gay teens, proms can be especially exciting – or nerve wracking, if we choose to take a same-sex date. The choice seems to be a no brainer, especially for a relatively well-accepted openly gay athlete like myself who attends a school where the administration has approved same-sex dates before. But a mother’s love has an interesting way of intervening and preventing such simple decisions from being made because they aren’t as cut and dry as we think.

No matter the circumstances, it should be known that taking a same-sex date to prom needs not be the be all and all of one’s high school experience, it also isn’t a requirement for gay teens to follow in the footsteps of Constance Mcmillen or Derrick Martin (though teens like myself want to take our boyfriends and feel our right to a same-sex date is important). Even if you can’t take your partner to prom, there are many ways to save your gay prom experience.

Unable to take my boyfriend to prom, we arranged it so that he and I would have pre-prom photos together. It wasn’t the ideal, but little is entirely perfect and prom night is no different. We established the importance of our night was not that we be together the whole night, for my mother forbid it. Instead we focused on what we could control and that was to make best use of our time together which we spent laughing with friends and taking funny photos.

Five hours later, after sprinting onto the dance floor, I was crowned prom king – a moment meaningful in many ways, mostly for what it symbolizes: acceptance. Winning prom king amongst a crew of 7 potential male candidates shows that my school is not only tolerant of openly gay students but is accepting! My good friend Molly won with me and we slow danced to cheers from all sides, congratulating us and urging us to kiss. Don’t worry, we didn’t. There were no shouts of “Homo,” no negative remarks, just congratulations and “bro hugs” and pats on the back – truly a testament to my school’s consistently improving climate.

My great friend won queen and yours truly was king


After being crowned king and celebrating the night with our AM prom (a school led after prom party which goes till 5 AM), I headed home and slept most of the day away as did my mother who led our entire AM prom. We celebrated Mothers’ Day upon waking up and once our special dinner ended, my phone vibrated in my pocket. It was Carl – and he was at my door!!

I walked out with netbook, king’s crown, and scepter in toe and shut my front door for some privacy. Having saved Areosmith’s “I don’t wanna miss a thing” on youtube previously, I slyly clicked the play button and set the netbook aside in a manner which seemed more smooth in my head than in reality. Nevertheless, Carl took my hand with smile broadening and after I crowned him, we pulled each other close and danced.

His eyes began shimmering after the first few sways as tears of joy gently glided down his face and I held him closer, enjoying the moment. For 4 minutes we soaked in the experience, surrounded by no lights, no students, no dresses or tuxes, but a red wicker chair, some southern home decor, and a basket filled with Gatorade… while it was not the prom we had hoped for, it was the prom we had and somehow – I find myself unable to imagine anything better.

Have a great gay prom story? I would love to hear about it in the comment section below! And if you liked this one, try tweeting or stumbling the post!

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§ 70 Responses to A Solo Gay Prom, King’s Crown Included

  • David Lai says:

    Need I say it?

    awwwwwwwwwwww CJ!

  • David H says:

    Nice story man. Definitely a different way of going about it. I’m glad it all worked out as you wished.

    • Craig says:

      Thanks David, glad you liked it! Its funny how some things just seem to work out in the end… though I do give props to Constance and Derrick for fighting through the whole time.

  • David H says:

    Make sure you copyright your story. I see a version turning up on some CW drama within a year.

    • Craig says:

      Hahah, I certainly will David. Though seeing my story on television could be entertaining… I assume getting some royalties for it would be a nice bonus too – it would definitely be great to take some of the stress of college payments off of my parents’ back.

  • Carl says:

    Most certainty an unforgettable moment in my book. It was absolutely the best way we could have gone about it, and might I say I agree wholeheartedly that I could not imagine anything better myself. By the way, very well written. Hopefully many others can find inspiration in such a story like this and know that no matter the situation, it always works out for the better in the end.

    • Craig says:

      Thanks Carl :) Glad you got a chance to read the post and enjoyed it! It was an unforgettable moment for me too – and btw my mom says “thanks” again for the pictures, she really likes them!

  • I didn’t go to my prom, as I didn’t date girls by the time I was a senior and I felt I couldn’t go with a guy (it was 1977, just a few years after Stone Wall). What I don’t understand is why your parents insisted on you not going with your boyfriend. Can you help me understand the situation better?

    Thanks.

    • Craig says:

      Thanks for the comment Edwin! To answer your question, my parents insisted I did not go to prom with my boyfriend to avoid whatever repercussions there may have been – which admittedly seems a very weak reason not to (and if this was the only part of it, I would have taken Carl, repercussions or not, in a heartbeat) but the repercussions were not mine alone to take but involved both my mother and father as well.

      As the months unfolded before prom, my parents’ life became extremely hectic. My mother, who not only planned our AM prom of epic proportions, but also runs our community’s Relay for Life, manages all the craziness that is my life, and is planning for two graduating children (my sister and I) fell under a fair amount of stress. It happens. Even while stressed out she always treated me well – but taking my bf to prom was far beyond her comfort level (which doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do it) but I recognized her predicament and I chose not to be the straw which breaks her back but to be the person supporting her. Balance, is what I was going for – and I still owe her for 19 years of an incredible childhood.

      My mother has been amazing to me, as has my dad, supporting me in nearly every aspect of my life. While she couldn’t support my desire to take my bf to prom, she has bent over backwards and then some to make sure I have a great life – surely someone who has done so much for me, deserves a little slack especially in a time when they have enough going on. She simply needed a break. So while I disagreed with her adamantly, many many times – and saw the effects that our mere confrontations had on her, let alone the actual act of taking Carl to prom, I chose to help her and relieve what stress I could.

      I love my mother, and she loves me – she is very fond of Carl too, and because of her I had a great slow dance on my front porch with my boyfriend which was much better than any of my prom experiences. Alls well that ends well? perhaps.. I think my mother has some room to grow and I know that I have a great deal to grow as well, but for now I am happy.

  • Rob says:

    Craig,

    Just want to say how much this article touched me. I went to my senior prom with a female even though I knew my sexual feelings were not leaning that way. I wish 6 years ago I would have had the courage you did to do the things you have, to include even contemplating the thought of taking your BF. I was also crowned prom king and still look back at it to this day and wish I could have done some things differently. However, it is nice to hear stories like this and realize that attitudes and people are changing….even if it is at an extremely slow pace. Keep up the great work! :)

    • Craig says:

      Thank you Rob for the fantastic comment and congratulations on also being deemed a prom king! Times are changing, and hopefully some day soon we’ll be able to look back and see prom kings winning together (or queens). Thanks again!!

    • Sandro says:

      Beautiful story Craig. It was certainly a night you’ll always remember. :)

      @Rob
      You were also a high school athlete? :D

  • Ok, Craig, I have to challenge you a bit here.

    First, and foremost, I think the experience you did have was great. You should cherish those memories and experiences. I don’t have them, and I must admit, I’m a bit jealous, but only in the most positive way (meaning you had something I wish I had, had, and can never have…if only I could go back in time, and life was different). I can remember marching in the NYC gay pride parade in 1980, when people still yelled gay slurs from the sidewalks and spit on us as we marched. It was a positive experience, even with the minority of people who were bigoted at the time.

    Look at what you have written, what I am getting from your post and your original comment is that your parents were truly more afraid that your gayness would become a public issues and reflect on them if you brought your boyfriend as your date to your Prom. Unless I’m missing something, and with my disability dur to the brain damage I suffered from my illness, I may very well have, as reading and writing intelligently is difficult for me, it would take an effort on your parents part to support you taking your boyfriend to the Prom. You’re 19, and adult and therefore, I’m not sure how they could stop you or make it difficult for you.

    I apologize if I’m being confrontational about something as intimate as your relationship with your parents, your Prom and your boyfriend, but since you’re an adult, I’m responding to you as I would any adult. For me, homophobia in any form is to be recognized, named and held up to the light, because when it is, it disappears. Prejudice of any kind cannot survive being held up to the light, it withers and dies in the light.

    I truly appreciate your sharing intimate details of your life. It is amazing to me, as I compare it with my time in high school and early adulthood. The contrasts are amazing to me.

  • JC says:

    Glad you had a great time and congratulations! Thanks for sharing. I agree with Edwin that when we were your age for anybody to even think of going to the prom with a same gender date was completely unthinkable. The progress that has been made in just the last 5-10 years has been remarkable.

    It doesn’t sound like this was your intent in making your decision about who to go to the prom with, but it sounds like your decision was a great Mother’s Day gift. Hope you gave your mom a great big hug, because it sounds like she deserves it.

    • Craig says:

      Thank you JC – and a great Mother’s Day gift I’m sure it was though you’re right, I hadn’t even thought of that up until now. That is a perfect way to put it.

      And you’re right, that the progress made recently is very remarkable. It seems the media can be thanked for that as can our progressively more connected society. Lets hope we can keep this pace up and in 10 more years, none of this will be an issue – though I assume it will take more time than that.

  • Rick says:

    Congratulations. I read this story and was really touched. High school was not a pleasant place for gays when I was in school, 1977.

    I’m glad the world is a better place for you and your generation.

    • Craig says:

      Thanks for the comment Rick! My dad agrees that during his High school years, mid ’70s, that the very few gay guys – who were not out but were assumed to be homosexual, were taunted and some even physically abused. I am extremely lucky and thankful that I am attending school when I am and where I live – and all of that thanks goes to those who came before me and made this past weekend a possibility.

  • Jim at Outsports says:

    I think Craig handled the situation perfectly with his parents and the prom. It can be very tricky to be out in high school and Craig has negotiated a difficult course with aplomb. Parents, even those supportive, often take a while to feel comfortable with the news and I guarantee that what Craig did was better than defying his parents to make a statement. It’s much easier to second guess when you are older and high school seems like a distant memory.

    • That’s not what I’m really getting at. Its not a question of what he did, but why and whether there’s recognition of what is really behind it.

      They way Craig described it, it was because his parents said they were concerned for his safety. But he was already out at his high school and from what I read, had not suffered anything that would indicate he was in danger. Then also, there was what he said about stress because he mother was managing a pro-life event. Putting two plus two together, it sounds like his parents are more afraid of their discomfort if their fellow “Christians” found out that their son was gay, because the local paper would cover the fact that there was a male couple at the prom or that fact might just make more of a splash in the local rumor mill / country club circuit than his quite acceptance by his peers had previously. What I have asked, and challenged, is the, “adding to my parent stress.” From what I see of Craig, this young man is exemplary. He is intent on doing well in school and sports. “Clean cut kid,” is the euphemism. He appears to be the most stressless child any parents could possibly want. Well, but with one tiny exception. And, that exception on exists if the parents are homophobes.

      This young man should be treasured by his parents. They wanted pictures of their son with a girl on his arm. They seem to want the fiction of what they feel is the, “normal,” Prom night. But, their son, from what I can see, is really, absolutely, very, completely normal. And in that normality, given his due, he would have another young man on his arm, and the pictures his parents would have would be of two very cute young men in tuxedos.

      The question is not about Craig defying his parents, its why the issue of defiance is even within consideration. The question is why is this sterling young man concerned about stressing his parents when his parents should be concerned about loving their child, as God made him.

      • twg says:

        Dude, I know the name is confusing, but Relay for Life is to raise money for cancer research, not some pro-life cause. FYI.

        Craig, congrats on your title! Long may you reign :)

  • Jen says:

    Craig,

    I am so happy that you shared your story and that you were able to find the silver lining. From your responses above, it’s clear that you love your parents and there was a great deal going on with them for you not to attend prom with your boyfriend. However, one thing I have learned is that there will always be a reason, an important event, a hectic time for us to grant our parents or friends and family’s wishes of holding off being ourselves openly and honestly. I understand your desire to make their lives less complicated, but in the meanwhile their asking/insistence of you not taking your boyfriend to prom was also doing to you just what you were avoiding not doing to them. Thankfully, you were able to make the best out of it, but I truly believe that the experience of having your boyfriend with you at prom would’ve left you with a different sense of pride and memory of a lifetime. You don’t have to be an ‘activist’ to take your partner to prom…but it is important to recognize that while your parents love you and you obviously love them as well, asking you to compromise who you are for them, is just as harmful to you (if not more) than you not taking your boyfriend for them.

    Many of us have loving relationships with parents who ‘accept’ us but ask us to compromise ourselves at various times to make it easier for them. I am not judging your parents, i am saying however, that they are and we are doing no one any favors by putting off the inevitable facing the live that we lead and vice versa. Had someone asked your parents not to show themselves at one time or another -would there be a you…?

    Again, glad you had a good experience, just remember that while sacrificing may not feel terrible now, we are asked to do that so often that it becomes habitual. Please remember that your life is influenced by others as well and you too need someone to give you a break because things are too hectic or too important.
    :)

    • Craig says:

      Thank you Jen for your wonderful comment, your points will certainly be kept in mind while making my decisions and I will work hard not lose myself :) I am sure of that.

  • Jim at Outsports says:

    I have no doubt his parents do love him, but parents and teens have had stress in their relationships since the first cave teen came home late one night.

  • Jim Fields says:

    Hello
    thanks so much for a great story … found it on the advocate online .. I am 64 year old gay man ..
    and it makes me proud to see such a fine young man as yourself ..living a good life .. and enjoying being who he is .. I am glad your school was so accepting
    I remember my high school years not as a pleasent memory but something I got thru ..
    take care good luck at Georgetown
    have a wonderful summer

    Jim Fields

  • Again, Jim, I’m not suggesting that they don’t love him. The question is, from what I’ve read, is do they love him as he is, as God made him. Parents having stress because their son, who they know is gay, may go to the Prom with the right person for him, rather than the right person for them, speaks volumes. This young man, who appears to be a great person, an excellent example of the best type of student, should receive the respect and love from his parents for who he actually is, not the picture of what they would like him to be.

    I my faded memory, I’m wondering what his parents will think when they look back on that evening, ten or fifteen year from now, knowing they didn’t support their son in being who he actually was.

    I’m not sure why you are trying to make light of this. Again. I’m looking forward to what Craig has to say. And, again, I think he is a great person and has handled his life well. There is absolutely, positively not criticism of what he did or how it did it from me. My question is really focused on clarifying what was described as the reasons.

    • Craig says:

      I have taken some time to collect my thoughts and put them in the proper words. I am not against a conversation and you can expect to receive comments from me on my blog, but you have the entirely wrong impression when it comes to my blog post. I would first like to point out that Relay for Life is a fundraiser, a national fundraiser held by the American Cancer Society, to benefit cancer research – not a pro-life rally. The fact that you would jump to such conclusions with out even googling Relay for Life is unfortunate, and you can read more about the fundraiser here: http://www.cancer.org/ My mother has been leading our community’s Relay for Life for multiple years now and in our 4th year, we are about to break the half million dollar fundraising mark – truly an accomplishment worth acknowledging!

      I also don’t know where your comment of “country club circuit” has come from, though I do believe it shows some of your bias especially when bringing into it my parents’ “Christian” friends. My parents’ devotion to God is one which should be respected just as some of our decisions not to worship a God should also be respected. Just because they are Christian does not mean that they are anti-gay. Have you heard – a part of the Presbyterian church just approved gay clergy!

      Furthermore, you state time and time again that you feel the reason why I “caved” was because my parents could not take the heat of having a gay son be in the public eye, yet it was my mother who gave me permission to come out publicly to my entire teacher faculty – that is the opposite of what you have stated and the fact that you would condemn my story before knowing all the proper details is also wrong.

      It was also my mother who has decided not to prevent me from blogging about sexuality in sports, the most visible outlet I could have and one where far more people will learn of my sexuality than if I were to bring my boyfriend to prom with me.

      My mother and father have been endlessly supportive in every aspect of my life, though their support for things in relation to my sexuality was at first very limited and was admittedly non-existant in my desire to take my boyfriend to prom. It takes time for a parent to come to terms with their son’s sexuality and my parents have been improving gradually ever since I first came out – so much so that my mother was the first person who offered to take a photo of Carl and I before my prom and has offered to take us out to eat, in a restaurant, with other people there. Not “hiding” behind closed doors.

      One must understand that I did not detail my relationship with my parents in my “prom” post as I was focusing on another subject, but due to your relentless commenting – I feel the need to address such things. My mother has broken her back bending over backwards to make sure that I have had everything that I need and these past three months have been extremely stressful for her for many reasons I need not list for your benefit. Understand that had my mother supported my desire to take my boyfriend to go to prom, I would have done it. But due to her great stress level and her desire for little conflict, as her plate was already overflowing with commitments and other matters in life, and her adamant concern – I did not take Carl to prom as a gesture meant to show my appreciation for her which came about after I understood her circumstances which you do not. I love my mother and that means making some sacrifices. She has sacrificed exponentially more than I have for her, to give me the opportunities that I have and will be having over the next four years.

      There is more to life than taking my boyfriend to prom and there are far more important things such as maintaining a healthy relationship with my mother, someone who is my hero, someone who deserved for me to be understanding, for me to take a step back and realize: “Doing this could really help my mom.”

      I have been given breaks and now was my time to give my mother a break. She has allowed me to do far more than her comfort level has allowed and she has grown tremendously in terms of her support. She deserves praise not condemnation – and to attack her for her Christian values is simply unjust. For someone who I assumed strives for cognizance, the fact that you would jump to conclusions in such a manner is disappointing.

      Lastly, balance was my goal, and balance was achieved. Success in balance can be looked at as the message behind this story and how accepting my school – the progress we have made. Those are the high points we should tout, and I hope you can eventually come to that conclusion as well.

      Thank you for your comments and trying to get down to the truth, hopefully this comment will shed some light on the situation and will allow you to be more understanding. :)

      • I’m sorry to say, that we don’t agree on this. I appreciate the information, but, as you know, you’ve been held out as an example to gay youth more than once, by Outsports.com. Your previous posts about this blog entry, and this one, seem to say that going to the prom with your boyfriend would have been your preferred choice, but you chose not too, as it would bring additional stress to your mom. That’s the part that makes no sense, if your parents, as you put forward, would, “break their back, bending over backwards” (you words), to be supportive of you being out. In this case one, plus, one, does not equal two as it concerns your representations.

        Regardless of my factual mistake, for which I apologize and should be chided, being the only mistake I appear to have made in the facts, you have been held up as an example. And, I must agree that you are one, when it comes to coming out in main stream sports, which is still very bigoted. That certainly helps our community, particularly gay youth. You have gotten a fair bit of press in Outsports.com for that, and justifiably so.

        Outsports.com went further to feature your blog entry about you being Prom King, including your photos, with a link to the blog and your picture on its home page. At first, I must admit, I read the article, as I had read the past postings, and though, gee, Prom King, nice. And, then there was that, “click,” moment. Wait, he went with a girl. He was made Prom King as part of a straight couple and his boyfriend wasn’t anywhere. And, he states that he would have done otherwise, but only due to his parents, “stress”.

        In my day, I didn’t go to my Prom. Why? Because, I couldn’t take a man on my arm. I didn’t have a boy friend, but I would have rather not gone, if I could not dance with a boy. I felt it disingenuous to who I was. I was not an example to other people, I didn’t have articles written about me, and I wasn’t out to anyone, yet. But, inside, to my inner self, I just couldn’t let that happen.

        Years later, long before protection in the work place, when having gay sex was a felony in 48 eight of the fifty states, where you could be fired for simply being gay, there would be social events, where, other men, who I had recognized as gay and had confirmed it, but were not out, would take women and appear straight. This was done for reasons of their personally being accepted, not acceptance of the gay community. It was, and still is, although it happens far less, called, “Wearing a Beard”. For those of us who were out and took our chances with being employed and worked for community acceptance, at the risk of personal rejection, it was very enraging. We would not out the person, unless they did something overtly to hurt the libration movement or another gay person, so we were stuck with sitting there, and watching what was an insult, to each of us personally, and the community as a whole.

        Even after we received protection in the work place, and now the schools, I am confronted with prejudice and bigotry, as I am sure you are. I choose, even though I am now physically weak, and somewhat less swift of thought and phrase, to challenge the bigot with their bigotry. Most times the individual or group who have shown themselves to be bigots relents, sometimes not. The world has changed, but not completely.

        In your blog, and responses, you leave facts dangle. And yes, being a person who more than once, has put himself out there, at personal risk, to push forward our cause, although without the help of social media, or blogs covering what I was doing, I question anyone who, “Wears a Beard,” for any reason. I believe, for gay youth who have been following you as an example, and to whom you also hold yourself out to be one, by some of your more instructional posts, it is key that they understand the truth and the facts.

        I have already suggestion these questions in an email to Jim Buzinski at Outsports, who’s, as I stated previously, front page link to his blog post reads, “Gay jock voted Prom King.” I would appreciate your answers to them. If you’d prefer, I would be more than happy to discuss the questions with you and write my own blog entry featuring the answers, which ever you’d prefer (my telephone number is 727-424-2460).

        1. You indicated in your blog that you did not fear for your safety, and your parents knew you were out to everyone, already, even though they had previously forbid it. That being true, what possible stress would your going to the prom with your boyfriend cause to your parents? Could you please be specific in your answer, your previous discussion continues to, “walk around,” the specific issues.

        2. Had you previously been, or were you aware that you might be nominated as Prom King before you went to the prom? Did this influence you in your choice not to go with your boyfriend? Did this create the stress for your mother that you have not described directly?

        3. Unlike many of the people who attend proms with their same-sex dates or who, like me, choose not to attend due to the fact their parents or circumstance would not allow them to have same-sex dates, you are an adult, age 19 at the time of your prom. As an adult, that choice was wholly your own and no one has the right to interfere with that in anyway. Why did you consult your parents on your choice at all? Did you first tell them you planned to take your boyfriend and they told you that you could not or asked you not to do so?

        3. Looking back at the experience, now, do you feel, knowing what it was like at the prom, that you may have tried harder to take your boyfriend?

        4. Did you discuss your plans concerning your prom date, the potential for your being elected prom king or any other aspect of your prom or plans for your prom with outsports.com prior to the prom? Did you discuss those issues after the prom, but before you wrote your blog post, assuming you wrote it after you attended prom? When did you write the blog post? Did outsports.com review and or comment on the post prior to its posting?

        Craig, as I said previously, you have been held up as an example. And, in all but this case I believe you have been that. For those of us who came before you and endured decades and in some cases life times of hard core prejudice, Wearing a Beard is no matter to be taken lightly. It is offensive. I’m concerned about the message your change in stance has on the young people reading your blog and looking to you as an example.

        These questions are just a starting point, not an end in and of themselves. I would prefer a more open free flowing discussion between the two of us, covering a lot of topics, possibly over more than several blog posts. A type of intergenerational commentary. Again, I am happy to explore this more here, on my blog, or in the world media. I offer you the choice of venue.

      • Scott says:

        Craig, I really enjoyed reading your story, you are a great role model for young people. I Think you did the the right thing for you and your family and think Edwin needs to relax it’s your life. But I don’t think you can post anything that he will agree with.

    • Juni says:

      I am curious to know why Edwin must have his questions answered to his specifications. Craig has answered the questions as fully as he can, or wants to. It’s no one’s business but Craig’s. If OutSports wants to applaud Craig’s prom experience, that’s their business.

      It’s been my experience in life to see that when people have been oppressed, that some may take it out their peers. That appears to be happening here. For Edwin, I do not know the experiences of your life, but it sounds like it was harsh. Edwin, could it be that you are reacting and pushing the issue from a place of pain?

      Lastly, as a grandmother, I have to look at this situation and simply say, come on… Craig is how old? 19? Give the young man a break.

      Juni

  • gaydadtobe says:

    Great read. I really enjoy your blog.
    I didn’t go to the prom my junior year. I was dating a girl at the time, but prom was scheduled on the same weekend as another event. I went to the Boy Scout National Jamboree that year, and we were having a mandatory camping session to get to know our crew better (and sort out some logistics and training). I had to choose between a night with my girlfriend or going to the Jamboree later that summer. With all of the guys around, it wasn’t a tough choice, really ;)

    My senior year, I still wasn’t out, but I took my neighbor from across the street. We had a blast because it was celebrated as a shared birthday (we were both born in May) instead. We even stayed up all night at the after-prom party with birthday hats on.

    • Craig says:

      A National Jamboree eh? I had no clue that the Boy Scouts held national jamborees though it makes sense, if student council does and NHS does why not boy scouts! I’m glad you enjoyed it hahah

      I’m really a fan of the celebrating prom as a birthday idea – we have a few Juniors who chose not to attend Junior prom who have Spring birthdays and I think we might be able to entice them to participate next year if you don’t mind us copying your great idea! It’s the first I have ever heard of someone doing that and I love it!

  • Harold Levine says:

    Not completely the same thing, but I ducked out on my college prom back in 1978 and a girl friend (who of course came out years later as a lesbian) got all dolled up, “borrowed” my roommate’s car and drove from New Haven down to NYC. We parked the car and sauntered over to Studio 54, which had opened about a month beforehand. Miracle of miracles we were waved right in and had the time of our lives. That fall I moved to NYC and started my life as a (relatively) out gay man. Perhaps it would have been more fun to go to the prom with a male date, but I doubt it. I’ve treasured my night at Studio 54 my entire life.

  • Curt says:

    Craig- It’s so great to hear this story. Trust me, it will be a night that you will remember for the rest of your life! I hope other teenagers who are afraid to come out will read your story and realize that being out of the closet isn’t so bad after all! Keep looking toward the future. You are going to love it at Georgetown!

  • Dear Craig,

    Congratulations! When I was in high school this would have been unimaginable. Your generation of brave LGBT students are blazing new trails and will have an impact on generations to come. All my best and deepest appreciation.

    Sincerely,
    Stephen F. Macias
    Executive Vice-President
    Here Media

  • PeeJ says:

    Wow. When I was in HS it was unthinkable to be out so this story makes me incredibly happy. I’m curious though as a former PA boy, where your school is. (I grew up in the Alabama portion of PA.)

  • [...] On his blog, Cassey says: Winning prom king amongst a crew of 7 potential male candidates shows that my school is not only tolerant of openly gay students but is accepting! My good friend Molly won with me and we slow danced to cheers from all sides, congratulating us and urging us to kiss. Don’t worry, we didn’t. There were no shouts of “Homo,” no negative remarks, just congratulations and “bro hugs” and pats on the back – truly a testament to my school’s consistently improving climate. [...]

  • Jeremy Tiller says:

    Well thanks for sharing your wonderful night and dance with your man with all of us.Without really trying that hard you found the most important things about the night/exprience and made the most of them into a memory that will live forever.Congrats King Craig.
    I think that you made a pretty selfless choice by not going to the prom with your bf to help your Mom you still had support from many to actually have a choice instead of a mandate.

  • Mike says:

    I’m so proud of you. Talk about courage…you are first class, Craig. This is a big step for our movement. The more out we are, the louder they will hear us. I picked up this story through a major news outlet (i’m in Dallas, TX). I also contribute to the GLBT prom held here in Dallas, which is a worthy cause; but THIS is the way to go: INCLUSION NOW! Good luck Craig, you will go far.

    • But mike, it wasn’t inclusion. That’s the point. He went with a girl, not his boyfriend. I think he’s a great young man, but lets call a spade a spade. Inclusion is when a gay out man or woman goes to a prom and fully participates with his or her same-sex date for the evening. When that happens we have inclusion.

  • Gord says:

    Keep knocking them out of the park, Craig.

  • JC says:

    Wow, such dialogue! Edwin, while I understand your perspective (really), I don’t agree with it. Craig and his family had to make a decision about what was right for his family at this time. I am sure there were some tough conversations along the way, but ultimately Craig showed a lot of respect by being “an understanding son who realized this wasn’t the right time.” Had the prom been a month from now or even a month ago, maybe the time would have been right. You’re right, there are mixed signals there, but I’m sure Craig was well aware of them ahead of time and it isn’t up to you or anybody else to question what he felt was the right decision.

    Craig, the supporting cast you have around you sounds awesome. To be nominated, let alone voted for, prom king speaks volumes about what your peers think of you whether you’re gay or straight. For your date to go with you knowing you’re gay shows a lot of respect, admiration, and support and she is to be commended for it. This probably wasn’t easy for her either.

    And lastly, this is me speaking as a coach. My guess is this is causing some stress that you hadn’t anticipated. You’ve dealt with it (and done it well), so time to shrug it off and move on before it effects the rest of personal life, including your relationships with friends and family, your work in the classroom, or any upcoming races.

    As always, good luck!

  • Jen says:

    Craig,

    I am so happy that you shared your story and that you were able to find the silver lining. From your responses above, it’s clear that you love your parents and there was a great deal going on with them for you not to attend prom with your boyfriend. However, one thing I have learned is that there will always be a reason, an important event, a hectic time for us to grant our parents or friends and family’s wishes of holding off being ourselves openly and honestly. I understand your desire to make their lives less complicated, but in the meanwhile their asking/insistence of you not taking your boyfriend to prom was also doing to you just what you were avoiding not doing to them. Thankfully, you were able to make the best out of it, but I truly believe that the experience of having your boyfriend with you at prom would’ve left you with a different sense of pride and memory of a lifetime. You don’t have to be an ‘activist’ to take your partner to prom…but it is important to recognize that while your parents love you and you obviously love them as well, asking you to compromise who you are for them, is just as harmful to you (if not more) than you not taking your boyfriend for them.

    Many of us have loving relationships with parents who ‘accept’ us but ask us to compromise ourselves at various times to make it easier for them. I am not judging your parents, i am saying however, that they are and we are doing no one any favors by putting off the inevitable facing the live that we lead and vice versa. Had someone asked your parents not to show themselves at one time or another -would there be a you…?

    Again, glad you had a good experience, just remember that while sacrificing may not feel terrible now, we are asked to do that so often that it becomes habitual. Please remember that your life is influenced by others as well and you too need someone to give you a break because things are too hectic or too important.

  • Steve Klarer says:

    Craig,
    It really does my heart good to read your story and to see what a mature and thoughtful young man you are. I wanted to take a guy to the prom but that was 49 years ago – long before Stonewall, and such things completely unknown. I don’t think I entertained the idea for more than a few minutes, maybe not even that long.
    I recently managed to track down the guy I had wanted to ask out and for whom I had been carrying a torch for almost half a century. I was a bit late. He had died two years earlier so I never got to tell him how I had felt and what I wished we could have had.
    I know that it’s still hard for too many young people out there but your story is proof that in spite of everything it is, indeed, getting better.

    Best wishes for what I am sure will be a future rich in good friends, family, and relationships.

  • Jacob Woods says:

    =)

  • KT says:

    Craig,
    I first read your story on Outsports and I want to say that you are an amazingly well adjusted young man. (And smart too – congrats on Georgetown!). While the prom might not have turned out how you had originally hoped, the private dance you shared with Carl will probably be more meaningful than any you would have had at the prom. While some people might think differently, I think it took a lot of courage and understanding on your part to abide by your mother’s wishes. While we might not agree with her reasons for requesting you not bring your boyfriend, it does appear she is a very loving and supportive mother. She seems to be trying very hard to fully accept the gay part of your life and I am certain one day she will get there. Until then she is lucky to have a supportive and caring son like you. I wish you, your family, and Carl the best and look forward to reading more of your blog.

  • GayinPA says:

    Congrats bro!

  • NVAgBoi says:

    It’s always so incredibly sad to see someone be so blinded by their personal vision of morality that they attempt to force everyone else around them to fit into a tunic which is two sizes two small or five sizes too big. Ironically, I think it was done here by a commenter in his failed attempt to decry one-siz-fits-all morality. Unfortunately in doing so he didn’t realize he was engaging in the same behavior.

    Craig, you, however, responded in so eloquent a manner. You words and actions are, in my view, a great testament to your broader qualities of leadership, compassion and selflessness. I am so glad that YOU are satisfied and fulfilled by your experiences. It really has gotten better (just in the 6 years since I went to my highschool boyfriend’s prom) and will continue to do so.

    I think your family are very lucky to have you as a son/brother, Carl to have you as a boyfriend, and, from what I’ve read, Georgetown to have you as an incoming member of its student body.

  • Sarah says:

    Craig,
    One day your mother will mature as wonderfully as you have. Coming out is a process, not just for those of us who are LGBT, but for our families as well. Sometimes it can be frustrating and heartbreaking along the way. Maybe when the stress settles you can talk to your mom about her feelings and help her through her process. She has an able guide in you.
    -Sarah

  • [...] …we danced, swaying side to side wrapped in each other’s arms – our tuxedos framing our matching vests. He peered into my eyes and I gazed into his; their shimmering eluding to his soft smile soon to broaden from cheek to cheek. And there, under the multi-colored lights whose glow caressed Carl’s face, Aerosmith’s “don’t wanna miss a thing” having just concluded happily, as we stood with all of my peers at my Senior prom… I was announced prom … Read More [...]

  • Ben says:

    Craig,

    Good for you young man. Focus on your own happiness. You can ignore the bitter 50 year old queens who have nothing better to do than judge others values and beliefs while pushing their own as what should be considered “right”. Shame on them.

  • Walter says:

    What a TRULY beautiful, fun, touching story to share! Thank you so much, Craig! Even though Carl could not be your adjoining king, at best, your close gal-pal reigned next to you. Yet ALL of you will have such wonderful memories to share fondly for years to come.

    I never went to my prom but I also wasn’t out yet, either, because I never really thought much about my sexuality until mid-way through my college years. But for 1988, there was someone in my class who gradually came-out in our senior year of high school, but on prom night, he brought his boyfriend, shocking everyone. However, even for 1988 for a suburban high school outside of San Francisco, there was no homophobic remarks directed at them. When I think back on this (and had I eventually came into my own as a young gay student), I can’t help but be envious of my peer’s boldness. And I applaud for those strong, young gay guys like yourself who openly tell others who you are while your peers come to accept you.

    It’s great that at such a young age, you are out, proud, surrounded by lovingly supportive people, and you have a boyfriend. I truly hope your relationship with Carl is long-lasting, loving, and joyful for the coming years. Sure, there will always be challenges, especially if you both go off to different colleges, but never forget that first guy is always THE special one to revere and embrace in your life. Not many of us older guys have had such a fortunate chance in high school to be paired with a real first gay love because of either familial shunning, personal insecurities, or being socially outcast. Yet, who gives a damn nowadays — LIVE LIFE as it should be!! What a difference 20 years can be for today’s youth!

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful prom story! I hope it is read by many more folks — both gay and straight — to realize a happy evening is deserved by everyone regardless who they are!

  • Gregg says:

    Gregg, congrats on your title and all your successes! You are fortunate for having such a wonderful guy, Carl – I’m sure he really would have preferred to have been on your arm at prom. But, I absolutely understand your decision. I have a very close family, and yours sounds that way, too. It took my parents 10 years to fully adjust to my coming out. While your mom might later regret influencing your decision, I know that you know you did the right thing. And that’s all that matters. God bless and continued success!

    • Gregg says:

      Ha! I meant to say “Craig” not “Gregg.” I guess that’s payback for the hundreds of times people have accidentally called me Craig.

  • David B. says:

    Craig,

    I read your story on Advocate.com, which led me here. I love your story.
    Just, love it. I’m glad I read your explanation of your decision to not go together with Carl to the school’s prom. Admittedly, I was a little miffed with your mother about that. LOL
    I hope she and your father will find the courage to understand that no one chooses their sexuality. They didn’t choose theirs, and neither did you nor I.

    I graduated high school in 1983, in North Little Rock, Arkansas, and had a wonderful prom experience with my best friend. Today, she is married, has a 9 year old son, and is still very much my best friend. Her son and husband are wonderful, as well. I only wish we lived closer together. I’m in Tucson and they’re in Austin.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. You are an inspiration.
    I strongly feel you are going to have a very promising future.

  • Joan says:

    Hi Craig! I, too, read your story on Advocate and think it’s great! Glad to know attitudes are shifting in some schools. Of course, some of the comments on Advocate will always see the glass half empty (or more likely, what glass? since they can’t even find the glass…), but this old dyke thinks your story is charming. It’s evident your character and sincerity have helped tear down a few walls. Congratulations, and best of luck in the future! :)

  • Todd says:

    Craig,
    Congrats on your prom, your boyfriend, and your graduation! Your story is amazing and inspiring. I wish you all the best with college and whatever else comes next.

  • gaydadtobe says:

    Just read that you’re going to be on MSNBC tomorrow! Good luck!

  • Christerbjorn says:

    Congratulations, great pics. I’m from Australia, we don’t have a Prom King or Queen at our end of school fromal but I do believe that it’s a huge honour. Congratulations to your peers for seeing you as you are, simply a great guy. Your decision to not go to the Prom with Carl was 100% your decision and from what I’ve read an entirely considered and justified one. Reading about your special private dance was really sweet. Keep up being the fantastic person that you obviously are, you have alot to be proud of, especially your parents who were fromative in creating you and your character.

  • Thomas says:

    Reading your story on outsports.com, let an alumnus wish you a great time on the hilltop as a frosh in the fall.

  • chrissa says:

    Craig,
    I loved reading this excerpt from your blog. Last Monday, when I heard you’d won prom king, I was so thrilled! I thought, “Oh, he’s so school spirited and smart and respectful and such a good representative of our senior class.” It wasn’t until a classmate of yours gave me the blog address and I read this piece that I even thought of the “societal implications” of a gay young man being prom king. I hope that my incognizance represents PHS well! If I am any barometer, I guess we have a very accepting school community! Congrats on everything and much love!

  • Michelle says:

    This is the first thing I have ever read or heard about that has made me truly proud of my high school alma mater. Congrats on prom king and enjoy your time at Georgetown!

  • BILL DION says:

    My comment is lost. I will write again.

  • Kent says:

    This is a beautiful story, and it was eloquently presented. Congratulations.

    I saw your appearance on MSNBC with Thomas Roberts today, Craig, and your ease, grace, and naturalness really showed through. You articulately shared your experience and were remarkably poised…especially considering that this was an interview by the national media. You handled it like you do this every day. :)

    Congratulations on this appearance — but mostly for being the source of encouragement for many…and an advocate, just by being yourself and sharing your story.

  • A Super Guy says:

    Craig, your awesome. I wish more guys were like you. I’ll probably go to bed tonight just wishing I had somebody to hold me. Good luck at Georgetown. I love sports probably just as much as you do. I hope you not only excel in track but eventually go on to compete in the Olympics. Any race your good at? Thanks bud and have a great rest of your senior year in High School.

  • Natalie says:

    CJ! You are adorable! I saw you’re interview on MSNBC and it led me to this. I’m so glad I got to read this and see the impact you have on others. You are truely an awesome person and the dance with Carl was very romantic :) You, me, and the Allison’s need to hang out soon… See you then!

  • david says:

    dude..
    appeasement. doesnt. work. ever. ask neville chamberlain..
    the emperor has no clothes? or maybe some of us are just jealous…

    cheers…

  • Blaine W. Andrews says:

    Ciao Bello!
    Craig il mio amico!
    I just wished to express my almost overwhelming pride in your decision to live openly, and “authentically” as gay young man! “Amico Mio” Bobby Griffiths’
    (Prayers for Bobby) “Once Upon A Time” lover/boyfriend here is truly in awe of you, and what’s turning out to be an entire generation of fully evolved, self aware, and highly expressive gay youth! And also “Amico Mio” to think of all the straight allies that were a part of your journey! I’ve been observing a great “Paradigm Shift” at work within our society over the last few decades, and the change in attitudes that it’s brought about are breathtaking! It would appear that you and your man “Amico Mio” will have great things to look forward to! Oh I know the struggle for full inclusion isn’t quite over yet, but we’re in fact closer than ever! Bravo il mio amico!!!
    Sinceramente!
    Il Suo Nuovo Amico
    Blaine

  • GALAEI says:

    Hello Craig! Would you give us a call!? I would like to invite you to Philadelphia’s 16th Annual Alternative Prom for LGBTQ Youth Next Friday June 24th at the Gershman Y 401 S. Broad Street. Love’d your story and we want to sponor you and your partner!! <3

    -Samantha, Program Coordinator
    215-851-1822
    GALAEI
    Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative
    1207 Chestnut Street
    Phila, PA 19107

    Sry first time using twitter:)

  • jamye says:

    wow i am so proud of you. i wish that i had that kind of ablity to do that to but i cant come out of the closet i’ll get shot were i live:)

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You are currently reading A Solo Gay Prom, King’s Crown Included at Craig's Gay Word.

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