Keep it respectful, Sloggers, but let her have it. CC me on any e-mails you send to McNeece. I will compile and post 'em to Slog...
Keep it respectful, but let them hear from you.
Run to the coastal city of your choice, Constance! There are reasonable, rational people out there. We still have some wackos, but the scales are tipped in our favor.
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"And, you know, they don’t agree with it, but they’re going to love me regardless and they're going to support me regardless. They’re not going to hate me or shun me. But personally they don’t believe in it."
That made me smile.
Just two first person references: Record low for a Savage blog or article, even considering that this was interview in which other person did the talking.
I think if we all strive for this definition of tolerance, instead of a definition which either makes homosexuality 'decriminalized but second class' or a definition which requires whole hearted endorsement, we will succeed rapidly in achieving full rights for homosexuals.
I don't think it's true, but say, for argument's sake, that it is?
Entire bigoted Itawamba County School District just got played by an 18-year-old girl. How do you not love that?
Wow - She is so mature Dan - you should try to rise her level of maturity
Either way, kudos to them for being open enough to allow her to come out so young and being strong enough to weather this.
I think it's a shame Christians have taken one line from Leviticus so seriously/literal when Jesus desired us to
"Love one another as I have loved you." He didn't say "with the following exceptions."
Meanwhile, I noticed that HRC, that wonderful organization that is supposed to champion GLBT rights and issues, FINALLY mentioned this case in a mass e-mailing today. Of course they asked for a donation. I've come to believe HRC belongs in the same category as the batshit crazy televangelists.
You're a peach, Ms. McMillen.
Not every small/hick-town raised LGBT person feels the need for the anonimity cities provide, and would rather take their chances with a few supportive friends and family and remain with the familiar. I had to leave my hometown for 15 years to get on my feet, but then I came back.
It's a credit to Constance and her generation that being LGBT is no longer such a strange extreme that she can feel comfortable, despite all this notoriety, to remain in her hometown and state.
"we have to come down hard on this school"
"Not just because of what's going on at school but so that administrators, and school boards
and superintendents and principals at other high schools" ....
"will think twice about this kind of BS"
"will remember what happened" .... "and think twice"
"We're going to be in you fucking face principal Wygold and superintendent McNeece"
- from dan Savage's podcast.
I'm not saying she needs to move out of the state. Hell, I live in Kansas, a state that's not particularly known for its forward thinking, and I can attest that so-called "backwards" states are more diverse than people realize -- and that it's better when people in the LGBT community can feel comfortable about living in their hometown or state.
However, this is PROM we're talking about. One night of Constance's life. And she's been offered the chance to live it up in a party city. It's great that she's standing up for herself, and of course the principle of the matter will probably win out if the school board reverses its decision. But come on, prom in a swanky hotel with people you like is leaps and bounds above prom in a gym that smells of feet surrounded by people who sneered at you "for ruining prom, yo!"
So my advice still stands: If the school board holds its ground, go dance in New Orleans.
Unfortunately, a lot of the time they don't listen to you when you're polite, either. The key is finding the right modulation of intensity (which can be passionate and forceful without being loud) that DOES get and hold their attention; in other words, emphatic.
"I just wanted to take my girlfriend to prom"
"Anytime I feel like this is too hard, I think about the support I'm getting. And I’m just ecstatic that so many people would come together like this. I never dreamed there could be so much support out there for me. It’s just amazing. I’m so thankful."
"Things were really hostile in school last week after they cancelled prom."
The school board "need to hear how all sorts of Americans feel about what they’ve done."
So why don't you shove that up your ass, Loveschild?
McMillen has since made it clear she wants people to keep it civil -- good for her! I think that shows a lot of wisdom on her part, and I hope people respect her wishes. But before she said so, going apeshit was certainly an appropriate response. I don't think we need to be moderate in trying to protect kids.
Every time I read interviews with her, I just cry again and again.
Keep up what you're doing Ms. McMillen. They don't know it yet, but you are dragging your classmates and fellow towns-people into the modern age, it is in a sense a rebirth, and birth is almost always full of screaming and pain.
Much love from up here in Canada, please don't ever stop being you.
So I was calling for respectful letting-'em-have-it from the very first post, LC. Thank you for playing Slog.
This is exactly how it should be. Religion should be a private thing, and it should be an adult thing. He obviously doesn't feel the need to force his religious beliefs on his children, and he clearly doesn't feel the need to allow some religion to dictate to him how he treats his daughter.
LOL Bacon. IMO FWIW, I liked the fake LC better! I want 'it' back.
1. it is still the fifties in Itawamba, except they have wal-mart and Taco Bell. Chrahst is Lord and wal-mart is king.
2. the entire system is controlled by the proverbial Good ol' Boys network. just like you see on TV. not kidding.
3. they DO NOT CARE what a bunch of "hippie lib'rul faggots" think. anyone different *in any way* is liable for societal shunning and/or possible public burning at the stake.
i'm not exaggerating. there are very good reasons that this area of the country suffers continual and consistent brain drain.
there are two things that will save the situation.
(a) if the school system decides to go ahead and have the prom, and allow anyone to attend, no questions asked. they won't do this on their own, because in addition to congenital stupidity, they're absolutely mulish about their convictions, even when they know perfectly well they're in the wrong. and the ACLU can't force them to do it. they don't have a good enough case: it's simply not the responsibility of the school to provide a prom and they haven't done anything overt enough to be called retaliatory. that leaves:
(b) someone from outside - i'm looking at ellen because she's the most obvious, but any corporate sponsor dwelling in modern reality with the rest of us will do - will have to swoop in and host it themselves, complete with chaperones and all the rest of the foofaraw. i'd be rooting for them to charge money for any of the school boardmembers responsible for this bullshit parade to attend, or ban them outright, but any and all students who'd otherwise be allowed to attend should be allowed at no cost.
i don't think that latter option is going to happen either, due to various liability and other CYA factors. so this will fade away and die, eventually, with no resolution; and the next time one of these discriminatory cases happens somewhere it isn't *expected*, like new jersey or Heaven-Forfend-San-Francisco, it will get exactly zero coverage because it isn't Sexy News.
My reaction exactly - Constance is, by far, more mature than Dan and an example for everybody.
OMG- You mean, like, some Christians are behaving in a good way?! But it's impossible coz they're all bigots! ..Must be driving Dan nuts.
Dan, screaming and cussing aside, you do us proud and reflect what I would describe as the passion for justice and the compassion of God. No offense intended. I know if I was Ms. McMillen's parents I'd appreciate your support and consider you a gift to my family.
Take care all.
Who was the ass from the "better business bureau", I could say the same thing about money given to churches who don't pay propety taxes in this nation, sending money for 9/11, sending money for Haiti. all you stupid christians support that without thinking, oh, thats right you don't think. I hope she gets the hell out of there and away from her "tolerant" family, Jesus.
Screw that hick town. You're better than that and you're going places!
And kudos to Dan for bringing this whole thing to our attention last week - I agree, let's make damned sure any other school that might wanna get stupid gets the message: "Listen up, mofos, you pull this shit, you gonna pay."
In any event, she's been terrific. Hope everything works out well for Constance.
Dear Ms. McNeece and Mr. Wiygul:
I am writing on behalf of Constance McMillen, a student at your institution, who has openly asked to dress in traditionally masculine formal wear and bring her girlfriend to prom. Although I am not a resident of Mississippi, I have read about the action your school has taken against this from happening through internet resources.
I am not going to ask you to agree to her decisions, nor am I going to point out any constitutional rights that have probably been sent to you through letters and e-mails countless times by this point. However, I would like to ask about the statement released from your school board on March 10, 2010. In theory, if the prom had not been cancelled and Constance was allowed to come to the prom with a date of the same gender and formal wear traditionally meant for males, it would interfere with the "education, safety and well being of [your] students."
Education at a prom is a non-issue as I see it. Prom is generally intended to make one last fond memory with the class you grew up with and to have fun. This particular event, while being traditionally hosted by the school, has nothing to do with academia. A high school is not only a place to learn, but also a place to foster growth and make friendships. By disallowing Constance to attend as previously stated, you are officially ostricizing her. By cancelling prom, you are denying her (and every other student) the final bonding time these students have together before they graduate. If there is a private prom, Constance will likely be turned away because of the example your school board has already set.
Safety, however, is an issue at prom. Generally this means making sure nobody is intoxicated (especially while driving) or armed. The sexuality and formal wear of a student does not have the potential to harm anyone. However, when you set an example that the LGBTQA community is officially not accepted at your institution, you are setting an example not only the student body, but the families of these students as well as the rest of your town. When people are regarded as outsiders, it is easier for people to make disparaging comments about them and commit hate crimes against them. Please, please, please do not allow this to happen.
Well being comes from being able to accept yourself as an individual cognitively, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, and physically. By disallowing Constance to bring her girlfriend to prom and dress as desired (within the formal wear category for the occasion while being decently covered), you are denying the well being of this student. By cancelling prom when the ACLU contacted you, you are further harming this student by putting more social pressure on her than was there already. Again, she is being ostracized by her classmates because your school board officially declared the prom was cancelled after being put under legal pressure. This, to a still-developing mind might be misconstrued as Constance being the reason for prom being cancelled.
For the education, safety, and well being of your students, please consider having your prom. Also, please consider allowing Constance (and all other students) to dress in whatever formal wear they desire, so long as it does not show any inappropriate body parts, and to bring whomever they desire.
(can you imagine this?) Is this the atmosphere you want your OWN children to grow up in?
UNTIL SHE IS OLDER AND MATURE, THE CONSTANCES OF THIS WORLD SHOULD WAIT AND UNDERSTAND THEMSELVES FIRST, IF IN FACT THEY ARE BORN THAT WAY OR CAN'T HELP IT TO BE THAT WAY OR SIMPLY WANT TO BE GAY/LESBIAN, I ACCEPT YOU ALL, I LOVE EACH ONE OF YOU, I ALWAYS HAVE... But do not force us and other innocent kids to see your behavior as normal. Do not rob the innocense off the mayority of these kids and show them the way toward a lifestyle that is not their choice to have. Just because "one" person thinks, may be, she is lesbian, OR that being lesbian is more important than being straight.
Well, to end this, Just as it is not normal for a Married man to kiss and hug other woman in public, anybody that knowingly allows it, is wrong, because is wrong for the wife, in Constance's case this behavior should not be allowed because is wrong to impose a behavior that we Parents decided is in detriment of the mayority of the kids in that school.
Constance: Use your common sense and don't do this to hundreds of other kids, just to have your way. Let them enjoy their best year of their lives without having to deal with pressures of this kind. Let us Parents choose what is best for them at least before they are 18. Go on into the adult behavior you prefer, but with a clean conscience that you did not affect any innocent child with it. Just because you are a human being I respect you and I love you, regardless of your sex, age, illness, race, creed or anything else. Now, to be really mature and responsible, go do the right thing. May God Bless you.
BUT... I did skim it. And I got enough to make this judgment: That you don't know what you're talking about.
I was going to write a lot more in the hopes of educating you, but I know from long experience that bloggers like you only post what you have to say and never stick around to read any responses. If you happen to prove me wrong I'll be glad to post my answer to you, but I'm not going to hold my breath.
Being gay or lesbian is an identity, not a behavior. Even if you think it's a choice (and you'd be wrong if you do), it's wrong to discriminate against someone because of their identity. Think of religion, for example. That certainly is a choice, but it's also an identity and that's why freedom of religion is protected in our nation.
Constance is a lesbian. That means that going to prom with her girlfriend is right, because that is who she is - a lesbian. You might ponder whether she's "going through a phase" but, having known many gays and lesbians over the years, it's really highly doubtful because all of them knew they were gay or lesbian long before senior year in high school. Not that that matters; even if it were a phase, it's who Constance is now, just like some of her peers may be Christian now and are wearing crosses but may decide in the future that they no longer believe in that.
As long as Constance is who she says she is, no one is being "forced" to do anything other than respect that. If you have a problem with that, then you are in the wrong, just as I would be if I told you (or any Christian) that they need to take that cross off their neck because I don't believe in their religion.
I have worked and as christian myself have served Lesbian/Gay couples in many different ways and never for one moment treated them differently, I did not even care. To me they are brothers and sisters in Christ. I do not hate ANYBODY and never will.
However, If the circumstances are such or if I am at a place where I see what I think is offensive behavior and I disagree or dislike, I, as an adult can get up and leave. Children or teens in school do not have that choice. We must seek to protect what is in the best interest of the mayority of them.
I honestly feel terrible that these groups have to deal with this difference. Because they suffer a lot throughout their lives. And that's exactly what we are trying to protect these children from. From ever believing that they can be gay or lesbian just because is "hot" or "cool"...A lot of them do not know what they are doing!
Most of us were very immature at that age...Let them grow up! even having sexual relationships at that age is not what is best for kids, they are so young, they are not responsible enough to risk bringing a baby into this world, nobody at this age has reached mental, spiritual or phsycological maturity yet .
If you know deep inside that you are gay/lesbian, regardless of your identity, you must seek to love all straight people too and learn to respect the honesty of our choice, it should also come natural to all, to seek to respect and protect minors.
One must wait to make a stand that will affect others so drastically, specially minors in a High school. Can they learn to respect that?. Why do they think it's only them who count?
(are my paragraphs better spaced now?) I hope it's easier to read, I'm really gong out of my way you guys, only because is you. ;)
"... the behavior that is displayed among gay and lesbian couples precisely what is offensive to most people, not their identity."
Give us specifics, please, for the sake of honest debate. If we (as Constance's advocates) are to defend her, we must know the charge you bring against her.
What behaviors are offensive? Two teens dancing together? Two teens holding hands? Even two people of the same gender kissing? I attended an all-girls' high school; of course we all danced together at our formals and parties - we didn't know many boys and wouldn't have been allowed to invite them if we did. In most countries around the world two people of the same gender often go about with their arms thrown around each other. I've lived in many places around the world - one, two or three kisses on greeting a friend of the same sex is considered the norm. You may say that these greetings offend local customs - but remember, the vast majority of people in the world are exceptionally tolerant of Americans and their culture when abroad, even when it deviates from their expected norms. Why can't North Americans show the same level of respect when confronted with behavior that is new or foreign to them?
If you believe that Ms McMillen and her partner would be so crass as to engage in explicitly sexual acts (groping?cunnilingus?) at a public venue, you should say so. We are adults and will not be offended if you voice your concerns in a mature fashion. Hiding behind euphemisms is cowardly - not to mention smells faintly of eau de complete nutter. Please, dear Aunt Ada, tell us exactly what it was that you saw in the woodshed...
If it's just the things we would not object to a straight couple from doing - holding hands, hugging, dancing, the occasional chaste kiss - then you're defending bigotry. Sorry, but that's inexcusable and what you call the "right of the mayority" (the word is "majority," by the way) is actually the tyranny of the majority.
America is about the rights of the individual. You know, "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." You can't tell one group of individuals (straight people) that they can engage in certain behaviors in public but then tell another group (LGBT folk) that they are prohibited from the exact same behaviors. That's discrimination.
You should be made aware that anti-miscegenation laws and customs (which prohibited interracial marriages and co-mingling) were enacted and defended on the ground of "protecting children" and "keeping them from being confused." Actually they were meant to teach the kids to discriminate, and that's what you are defending.
Sorry commonnonsensenow, but we (and Constance) are morally right. You are not.
@67, 72: Where do you get this idea that kids will go gay just to be cool? Gays aren't considered cool in middle or high school; they're generally in the "weird kid" category! In my personal experience, when a gay kid is looked up to by peers, it's for entirely unrelated reasons, and the issue of sexuality is more or less ignored.
Gay sexuality weirds straight kids out; it's just the way it is, similar to the whole cooties issue between boys and girls in grade school. If a kid is gay or lesbian, they're going to be gay or lesbian, despite the best efforts of assbags like you to convert them. If a kid is straight, they're not going to turn gay even if they listen to "In the Navy" and "YMCA" non-stop.
Jokes aside, what an amazing young woman. I hope she moves far, far away from her hometown once she graduates.
Minneapolis isn't bad either.
It does not make me happy to see 2 women touching each other (maybe porno lovers like this stuff) When I see 2 men sticking their tonges into each other's mouth (to be more explicit as you asked) makes me want to trow up, I am serious, I am not the only one that feels this way, I believe it's physiological, caused perhaps by a built in survival or preservation of the species mechanism of our own body..... (It may take some time to digest that)
You are kidding yourselves if you think that the media, hollywood, TV, internet, etc. have not ended up influencing the very fragil and impressionable psyque of young children to the results we now see: A growing numbers of young adolescents being open to being pursued by a person of their same sex. Because being Gay/Lesbian has been idolized and glamorized non-stop by all these outlets.
Please let our kids alone! at least before they are 18. Do you think that kissing and hugging, hand holding, between 2 boys or 2 girls (as sweet and innocent as it may seem) does not cause a very strong impression in the still forming mind and psyque of the minor 14, 15 16 and 17 year old kids that are still attending high school?
If Schools allow this type of behavior at school campuses and school events, all other kids will be forced to live with it, to see it, to tolerate it and eventually think is normal. We do not want them to think is normal, a portion of us have to think is not normal, so as to preserve the human race from extinction.
Now, Gay/Lesbians as very deserving individuals with a very genuine need to be free to express themselves....I understand that.....I would not like to be limited in my desire to show affection or be playful with my partner if I want to......so what do we do? how do we keep the peace? who's right and who is wrong? I believe we are both right in some aspects and both wrong on some others. But it's hard to decide. An we do not want to have to fight over it. It would be useless, this debate will forever exist.
I do not want to convert anyone, you are wrong if you think that. I would not know how, I do not condemn Gays/Lesbians either, I simply ask you to go live your lives the way you want to live it, you have the right to do so and let us live our lives the way we want to. Let's accept each other and compromise and give children the chance to become stable emotionally and mentally before they are exposed to more adult type choices.
NO to Constance or any other boy or girl pursuing other kids of the same sex openly at school, proms or any school event. If you are Gay/Lesbian and are going to pursue any kid of the same sex (by texting, facebook, or phone which you clearly can do nowadays and he/she accepts it, so be it) At least 300 other kids are not exposed to seeing it happen on a daily basis. Give them a chance and give them a choice. Does this request sound familiar? Think from the bottom of your heart and not your ego.
When, exactly, should children be "exposed to more adult type choices"? You seem to be suggesting that Constance shouldn't be allowed to take the date she wants to the prom because it's an open acknowledgment that she may be a lesbian, and she's setting an example to the other students. Bear in mind that the example she's really setting is not that it's cool to be gay or lesbian--it's cool to be confident, to accept yourself.
What it sounds like you're advocating is the idea that you're fine with people being gay or lesbian as long as they only do it in private. Perhaps straight people should also only be straight in private. I'm sure there are those who want to throw up when they see a man and woman sticking their tongues in each others' mouths. We should be considerate of those people as well, since their discomfort is just as real and just as valid as yours.
Perhaps you can see where that line of thinking leads. Teaching gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered people to be ashamed of themselves, that they are somehow lesser than heterosexuals, isn't going to solve anything. In fact we've been down that route.
Riiight. Because that worked so very well in the 1950s.
There is no instinct there. That's a taught response, and it can be unlearned with time and understanding.
Now, I'm sorry, but it's still not right to let straight HS kids date and not let the gay ones do the same. The only "confusion" kids are suffering from now is the idea that gay is somehow wrong, which really isn't different from the days when kids were taught that black was inferior, and yes, some well-meaning folks (along with the hardcore racists) had a hard time accepting blacks as equal. I'm sure that many well-meaning folks (and not just the hardcore homophobes) are having a hard time accepting that being gay is not a perversion or deviance, since they've been brought up believing that it was.
So yeah, there's some confusion now, but life is hard and confusing for everyone and we aren't doing the kids any favors by isolating them from the reality that there are gays and lesbians among them.
Besides, I think you're forgetting how quickly kids (even teens) adapt to changing circumstances - they adapt much more easily than grownups. So I think your biggest fear isn't that the kids will be confused, I think that it's you and your adult peers, so set in your ways, will be confused. Sorry, but that's no justification for barring Constance from prom.
I applaud this young lady..she is doing a wonderful job and I hope she does open a mind or two in the process! I applaud her family who loves and supports her unconditionally.....I hope we make some progress and stop moving backwards~~!!!!!
Thanks for trying to explain yourself. This is my honest summation of what you are trying to say in one pithy little statement:
You believe that all students deserve equal recognition, rights, responsibility, and respect, but you're against same sex couples attending the prom because of potential "confusion" to others.
Honestly, your argument makes my head hurt. I read you as sitting on the fence, trying to have your cake and eat it too. You can't have both. Your argument makes no sense. With equality there is no grey area, there is no separate but equal.
I applaud your attempt to be nonjudgemental and to be compassionate, but I read your argument as really saying that you disapprove of gays and your nauseated when you see gay couples being affectionate. Those are your issues, not the issues of the HS students you worry for. You cannot protect the innocence of a person by keeping them ignorant. Sure some students may initially be startled to see two teenage girls holding hands or dancing, but that is momentary and will quickly become a non issue for most as they enjoy their evening. It is also one of life's realities, gay people are real. And, with that exposure all students will begin to understand that the only 'right' way to judge a person is by the content of their character, but only, yes only, after they have removed the logs from their own eyes.
Ps Your default nausea can be unlearned, try putting yourself in their shoes. Consider that when you're being affectionate with another person it might make them nauseous. I remember the first time I saw two men kiss, it startled me, I'd only heard terrible things about gays. I got over it and so can you, but you have to be willing to consider that your own attitudes are not as benign as you would like to believe them, and recognize that gays are really no different then you in the ways that really count.
I think the best advice is "try putting yourself in their shoes", and, as you mention, straight people don't often think about how their public displays of affection are perceived by others. A straight person can talk about his or her spouse, or even who they're casually dating. I think this is something that's often missed when people say "I have nothing wrong with someone being gay or lesbian as long as they don't talk about it". Imagine the same rule being applied to straight people. For many people--whether straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered--sexual orientation isn't just about sex. I think a large part of overcoming prejudice is acknowledging that fact.
"I remember the first time I saw two men kiss....
I got over it"
of course you did.
Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
we first endure, then pity, then embrace....
You assume that all behaviors are equally deserving of acceptance.
Some people eat feces.
Should we all unlearn our default nausea?
Expand the menu?
Who are we to be judgmental?
Those are our issues, not the issues of the feces eaters.
It is one of life's realities, feces eaters are real.
What about bestiality?
Who is Dan to point fingers?
What about pedophiles?
What are you going to do with your default nausea?
Are you willing to consider that your own attitudes are not as benign as you would like to believe, and recognize that feces eaters and pedophiles and dog fuckers are really no different than you in the ways that really count?
Not buying it?
Why is your opinion of feces eating and pedophilia and bestiality any more valid that of people who advocate to be able to do those things?
Because you're smarter?
Why is your opinion of homosexual behavior any more valid that of Lovechild or Commonnonsensenow or Carrie Prejean?
Because you're smarter?
Or just smug and arrogant...
Talk about smug and arrogant. That's you in a nutshell.
It does not make me happy to see..."
Um, you are forgetting that it is about "all" individuals rights, not just you.
I hope you know by now how life's sick irony plays out; the only people you notice who go around doing things (being naked, chewing with their mouths open, making out, etc), are the ones you don't want to see.
Don't want to see it? Then what you can do to pursue your own happiness is don't go out in public, where you might see it. Policing (or even wasting your time disliking or discussing) other people's legal behavior is not pursuing your own happiness. If it would make you happy for those behaviors to be illegal for all, get started legislating to ban public displays of affection. Or you could always move to a country where it's illegal to do the things you don't want to see.
way to go, sister- something so perverted and disgusting it never even occurred to god to make a commandment against it!