Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Constance McMillen Interview

Constance McMillen, the 18-year-old student in Fulton, Mississippi whose high school canceled her prom rather than allow her to take her girlfriend, came on the program yesterday. Her story has exploded online and in the national media, and she's become a hero to many.

Off the bat Constance told me that her mother is a lesbian, something I'd not seen elsewhere, and it became clear why she felt she had the support to courageously push back against the school. In this way she reminds me of Will Phillips, the 11-year-old Arkansas boy who would not recite the pledge of allegiance because it doesn't including "liberty and justice" for LGBT people. He, too, has parents who supported and encouraged him and who had many gay friends, and his mother came on the show with Will back in December.

It was a gay male couple, friends of Constance's mother, who encouraged her to speak with the ACLU, after Constance came home one day upset about what had happened. Constance told me what it's like to live in Fulton as a gay teen and how she'd been out in school, with a girlfriend, for a while. She also explained in detail how she just kept pushing, going from one office to another, to get permission to bring her girlfriend to the prom, because she thought it was the right thing.

She is heartened by the support she's gotten, even in the face of opposition. She figures maybe 70% of the kids at school are taking it out on her that the prom was canceled. Listen in and let me know your thoughts.