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.
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.
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.