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Going to the Prom

As you may know, I'll be graduating from high school in June. This is one of the traditional rites of passage that, I guess, is suppose to make a statement that this thing is actually going to happen after 12 long years (not counting preschool and kindergarten, which adds another 3 or 4 years to the total).
So, I decided to ask Matt to be my date for our Senior Prom this year. I have to say I have mixed feelings -- NOT about Matt being my date --but about why we're doing this and what the experience will be like for us that night.

P-R-O-M. First of all, let's talk about what this thing is all about. I mean, just look at the word: PROM. What the hell kind of word is that? To my ears it sounds like some prissy aristocratic thing that could only excite the Royal Family (no disrespect intended to my UK friends).

I mean, really! Just about as exciting as the dictionary definition of the word: "A formal dance held for a high school class at the end of the academic year." YAWN! Oh, and it's also short for PROMENADE (sounds like a juice drink!), which is defined as, "A leisurely walk in a public place." YAWN, YAWN!

At our high school, as I assume it is in most schools, no one questions why we have one. It's just one of those traditions you always do because, well, you always do it!

So am I going to my Senior Prom this year? I want to really bad, even though I have mixed feelings about it. The side of me that wants to go says that I really want to show Matt off (Matt is his usual masculine attire and me with a little more femme look). I want to hold hands and dance together. And most important of all, I want him to be there by my side for this thing that celebrates a major achievement in my life.

But, as I promised myself to be as honest as I can in this blog, I have to admit that I'm very nervous about it. There's no way for us to just "blend in" like everybody else. Nor do I want to. Sometimes I can be a real attention slut, but when I'm slutting for attention I'm always in control of the whole thing. Showing up to my Senior Prom with my boyfriend will definitely mean we'll get noticed and I'm nervous about what kind of attention we'll draw. And there's that whole thing about not being able to control things.

There will be 4 other same-sex couples there. I've been very active in our school's Gay/Straight Alliance club and we've all been talking about it for the past several months. Should we all stick together and not really blend in? Or, should we just show up and mix in with everybody else? What if we get harassed? Is that going to ruin what this is suppose to mean for me and us?

So, here's where I am at this moment in time (subject to change without warning every 5 seconds): I am not in the closet at school. I have no intention of going back in to please other people and deny who I am. I am part of this class. This is my high school too. And enless everybody agrees to go with a brown paper bag over their head, then I'm going as who I am and a big part of  my life right now is my boyfriend Matt. I have as much right to go with my date as any other classmate.

I want to celebrate and share this special evening with the person who means the world to me. I want to show off Matt. I have NO apologies for that. I want to dance with him, introduce him to some friends who've not met him yet. I want to feel his strength and courage by my side. I want Matt there for me. I mean, graduating from high shcool is huge for me. I want him to be proud of me.

Before I close, I also have to admit that I'm really embarassed and ashamed for being a wuss about all this. I came out when I was 15 and now I'm 18. I feel like I should be over all this worrying by now. Maybe I'm not as strong as I thought I was. Am I ashamed about being gay? I don't think so, but yet....

I have to decide by Monday, that's when the final list is made of who can officially come. Am I going? Matt said he would be honored and would feel special to be my date. He also said that this is my Prom and whatever I decide he will be proud of me. He said it won't change anything he feels about me. I've got his total support. And you know what, I totally believe him.

So, here's the deal. I've reread everything I wrote above about 10 times. Matt and I talked about it a long time last night. So, guess what? I'm going to my high school Prom with Matt. Am I excited? You can't imagine how excited I'm feeling right now. Am I nervous? Yes. I think that's understandable. Can I change my mind? Of course. But there's one thing I don't want to happen. I don't want to look back on this whole thing and say I compromised my integrity, my dignity and my courage. That, my friends, is a price I am not willing to pay.
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