Craig Cassey on MSNBC live!
May 17, 2011 § 13 Comments
Dry like Winter’s skin, my throat craved water – begging me to tear through two bottles within the three remaining minutes before my interview. I was excited. Ecstatic! And freakishly thirsty. Yet when I heard the unfamiliar “we’re in standby,” it all went away. My mind was kissed with calm and my throat… was still thirsty. Just not AS thirsty. Perhaps the good chi from my Chinese teacher came through after all! With newly relaxed shoulders and a smile in my mind, it began… and my life was altered. *Click below to see the interview video*
The inspiring and benevolent Thomas Roberts was set to interview me and inquired with 5 different questions. None were shocking, though I hadn’t anticipated their phrasing, and I admit to one misspeak: not taking my boyfriend to prom was hard – very hard. If my previously tear stained cheeks do not prove it, I’m not sure what will, for in months prior I argued over the topic exhaustively till my mother appeared ill and I needed to reevaluate my circumstances. Our circumstances. And hence the decision I arrived at.
Thankfully, through all of this, I had my best friend with me. Together we relaxed in the NBC10 lounge-like room and took photos of, you guessed it, the bathroom! It was my first time on National television after all, and we wanted to capture everything – even including the decor of a simple bathroom in our photo. Professional? Perhaps not. But where else could I catch a perfect mirror shot with my best friend of 13+ years?
Subsequently I raced home, attempting to make my track practice. It was a good workout though my mind raced with it’s own agenda – one centered on MSNBC and my blog. Jubilantly my mind ran rampant with ideas for follow up posts and ways I could help others – how do I turn this opportunity into one which benefits everyone? Well, at least at my school, it seemingly already has. For when I finished my workout, the reaction began – and boy was it loud and clear.
Beckoning like a base drum on any of Florence and the Machine’s singles, I heard it. No, I heard them. The futures filled with support, equality, and acceptance. Thunderously booming from every which way and then some, these base drums echoed their congratulations vigorously. Arms wrapping themselves around my neck were a common occurrence as people hugged me from behind. Many group hugs and retellings quickly ensued and ended with more hugs, laughter, and praise – especially my repeated praise of my classmates.
They are the ones who made this story possible. They are the ones who also deserve the credit. These weren’t “just” my friends who ran up to me, but everyone – though I like to think I’m friends with many people. I hugged what seems like a hundred people, which isn’t too shabby for a few hours spent walking around a track. And when I got home, the base drums started beating again even more loudly.
Their song of acceptance had followed me home and had been playing on repeat via facebook for hours. Wall post after wall post came up of friends and family congratulating me and supporting me all the way. “You’re inspiring,” read one, “thank you for this, it’s amazing,” read another. My eyes mingled amongst these words and soaked in their appreciation, just trying to comprehend it all. Turns out, on Friday morning, word didn’t just get out about my interview – it spread like wildfire to the point where classes were watching tv at 11:40 waiting for the interview to play.
Many students, my friends tell me, asked why I would be on tv for something of such little importance. “He’s just gay,” they said – not understanding that for many schools out there a gay prom king would never occur (for now!) “It’s not like we voted him king for his gayness, we just like him!” This is why Penncrest High School is amazing. Because my peers responded like that which shows just how far we have come as a school. What can I say, with only a few weeks left, I am still in love with my high school and do not want to leave.
My favorite part out of all of this? The people who came out to me and/or told me that they now have the confidence to come out. To live an authentic life style. To live as them! Can anything be better? It’s to those people I want to speak now: you are awesome the way you are, and whether you become a senator or a political writer, an actor extraordinare or a playwright, I think the world of you guys/girls. You have made my day, no. My week, no. My year!! It is to you underclassman that I have the utmost confidence that you will continue to keep Penncrest an accepting place and help continually further it’s progress. You. Rock!
As for everyone else, your support is greatly appreciated and understand that you have helped give me a fantastic opportunity I never imagined I would have. For that I am very grateful. Thank you.