by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Staff Writer
For the past few weeks, bizarre and often hurtful news has come creeping out of Itawamba, Mississippi. Openly Lesbian high school senior Constance McMillen was told she could not wear a tuxedo to her prom, then she couldn't take her sophomore girlfriend to the prom, then the prom was cancelled, and then she won a court case. This controversy finally culminated into McMillen and six other students (including two special-needs students) being duped - by parents and peers alike - into going to a "fake" prom.
This week, however, the SGN is happy to report that two pieces of good news have come to light: McMillen is set to make her first Pride appearance and serve as grand marshal of the 41st Annual NYC LGBT Pride March, and the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition (with the help of some very popular and influential entertainers) plans to throw a Gay-friendly prom that will be open to all Mississippi high schoolers, proving that some good can still come out of all of this.
On April 13, NYC Pride announced that McMillen was named as one of the Pride Parade's grand marshals. The parade is set to occur on June 27.
"I never dreamed so many people would support my fight to take my girlfriend to the prom - much less that I'd end up being asked to be a grand marshal at NYC Pride," McMillen, 18, said. "I'm really honored and touched to be asked to be part of this celebration."
Also announced this week, Green Day, Lance Bass, and celebrity chef Cat Cora are among the stars coming together and joining the American Humanist Association in hosting a Gay-friendly prom in Downtown Tupelo, Mississippi. The prom, which is open to everyone but geared towards LGBT youth, was made possible with the help of the stars, who may also appear at the event.
The prom is in response to the story of McMillen being sent to a "fake" prom, which angered millions around the country.
The annual Second Chance Prom, now in its second year, is set to take place on May 8 and will feature dinner, live entertainment, and some celebrity guests. Openly Gay Bass is planning to attend.
The American Humanist Association is also donating $20,000 to the event. "We are very pleased to be able to support and promote LGBT equality alongside other sponsors," said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. "We're proud to be standing on the side of love and acceptance instead of fear and prejudice, and we hope that the event will bring appreciation of the diversity within our society and encourage others to embrace it as a positive value that can continue to forge progress for all Americans."
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