Ed Brayton brings us the latest deep South pearl-clutching over gay teens at the prom:
Most of the dozen attending the rally said they weren’t bothered by Martin being gay or being allowed to attend prom with his partner. But they said the school system’s decision has brought too much attention to their small town.
What’s that I hear?
The school system, perhaps learning from the recent firestorm over Constance McMillen and her partner, decided to let a boy bring another boy to the prom. Some students are worried that this sudden show of tolerance might bring undue attention to their town, so they’ve decided to hold a rally at the courthouse.
That, my friends, is how you avoid undue attention.
It’s not really about avoiding attention, though, so much as about making sure Cochran gets the right kind of attention:
“We knew Derrick was gay,” said Keith Bowman Jr., a high school senior who showed up at the rally. “They don’t want (Cochran) to be known as a pro gay town.”
O-kay! If that’s what they want, I say they can have it. The boy in question, Derrick Martin, has already been kicked out of the family home for having the gall to be allowed at prom with his boyfriend, and if I were him, I’d be making plans to move the heck out of Cochran at the earliest opportunity. Let this be our notice: if you’re queer, or straight ally of queers, stay far away from Cochran, Georgia. These kids (all dozen of them at the rally) say we’re not welcome, and if that’s how they feel, well, I say we leave them to make their town a safe space for bigots. The homophobes are already raising the tone of the prom by cleaning themselves out of it, so in a way they’re really doing kids like Derrick Martin a favor by showing their true colors.
Meanwhile, a group of college students paid the rally a visit and showed the organizers how successful they are at avoiding unwanted attention:
“This is a small town. Some of these students are sheltered, and I don’t think they can think for themselves.”
Derrick Martin, I hope you exchanged contact info with these young adults before they left. These are your friends.