I think it's safe to say that if you're LGBT, the vast majority of people in Fulton, Mississippi think you're lower than dirt. For young Itawamba Agricultural High School student Constance McMillen, who merely wanted to take her same-sex date to the school prom, it has been a lesson in just how damn evil some of her neighbors are.
McMillen tells The Advocate that a parent-organized prom happened behind her back — she and her date were sent to a Friday night event at a country club in Fulton, Miss., that attracted only five other students. Her school principal and teachers served as chaperones, but clearly there wasn't much to keep an eye on.
"They had two proms and I was only invited to one of them," McMillen says. "The one that I went to had seven people there, and everyone went to the other one I wasn’t invited to."
Last week McMillen asked one of the students organizing the prom for details about the event, and was directed to the country club. "It hurts my feelings," McMillen says.
Two students with learning difficulties were among the seven people at the country club event, McMillen recalls. "They had the time of their lives," McMillen says. "That's the one good thing that come out of this, [these kids] didn't have to worry about people making fun of them [at their prom]."
In a community that invoked the bible and Christian beliefs in condemning Constance, these homophobes clearly chucked the sacred tome when it comes to loving thy neighbor, hospitality, and general decency without a second thought. To think that Fulton not only displayed rank homophobia, it raised the bar of evil by sending learning-disabled students to the fake prom, clearly labeling them "others." I challenge any of these "Christians" in Fulton to cite where in the bible Jesus teaches that the physically or mentally challenged deserve to be outcasts.
This social hellhole isn't even worthy of a boycott, since no gay person or ally would want to drive through this evil place to begin with. For Constance, one can only hope for a scholarship to get the hell out of there to attend college in an environment where she can thrive. Leave the evil behind, gain strength, knowledge and, should you want to challenge the hate, return to reclaim your space with others ready to fight homophobia in the darkest of places.
Fulton, Mississippi has earned its stripes as the cruelest town in America, by treating one of its young residents as a pariah for no good reason that the God they claim to worship can imagine. I do hope there is no adultery or fornication going on in Fulton. The bible had a lot to say about that.
UPDATE: More evil in Fulton, from Firedoglake's Lisa Derrick @ LaFiga; the proud homophobic students grin at how they pulled off their straights-only prom with photos posted on public FB and Flickr pages.
I can see some of the same dresses in these pictures posted by different students.Just a reminder to the non-white kids who went to this event: Forty-five years ago, in Birmingham, Alabama the same stunt got pulled on a black girl. Think about civil rights for moment.And if that’s not fucked up enough, now there’s a FB group called Constance, Quit Yer CryinOkay. My work here is done.