Thursday, December 29, 2005

High school senior, GSA president plans & organizes gay-friendly prom

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According to an article published by The Argus (Bay Area, CA), a high school senior and president of his school's Gay-Straight Alliance is planning and organizing for a gay-friendly prom, despite the prospect of possible protests by the Reverend Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church. For that reason, prom organizer Justin Daley is reluctant to name the location of the prom. According to the article:
Justin Daley is more than happy to talk about the upcoming "gay friendly" prom he is organizing. Just don't ask him to mention where it will be held. The West High senior and president of his school's Gay/Straight Alliance Club is not trying to be coy, but at this point, he would simply rather not say. Not with an impending protest from the Westboro Baptist Church of Kansas, which brought its message of "God hates fags" to the Central Valley last spring to protest graduation day at Tracy and West high schools. "I don't want to make things too easy for Rev. Phelps and his followers," Daley said of his cloak-and-dagger routine surrounding the prom's official location. "We will announce the actual location of the event about a month before the prom." The self-described "hate mongers" from Westboro have made numerous trips to the West Coast in recent years to protest everything from "gay friendly" proms to funerals of American soldiers killed overseas. According to a fax from the Westboro headquarters, "America has raised a generation of filthy fags and dykes" and "every body bag filled with body parts is the work of our schools." The church claims that school officials are "irreversibly bound for hell" for allowing gay/straight clubs to form.
Even with the threat of an appearance by Phelps, Justin is sure that his prom will go on just fine. The prom, which is scheduled for April 13, is designed to be a safe and friendly event for LGBT students, but Daley is "quick to note that although the prom is labeled "gay friendly" it is open to anyone with an open mind":
"We have been accused of segregation, but this prom is all about including everyone," he said. "We are going to have an open-minded event that will give people the chance to know the community and not feel left out."
===== YAY for Justin and all the other LGBT and straight allied youth of his area. This event will definitely be one which many people enjoy and will, no doubt, help to spread the message of acceptance. Winston-Salem/Forsyth County has had proms like these in the past. Last year's prom, or so I hvae been told, attracted more than 200 teens... straight and gay. If schools are not willing to make proms safe and comfortable for all youth, regardless of sexual orientation, then I see no problem in gay teens creating their own proms. There will come a day, however, that these types of events will no longer be needed. Technorati Tags: , , , , ,