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A Night to Remember: The Prom, part 1

Brad and Matt: A Night to Remember
 When we all heard the theme of our Senior Prom for the first time, everybody just rolled their eyes and had this, "Are you kidding?" look on their face. I mean, "A Night to Remember"?? Can we say boring, blasé, tiresome, humdrum, dull? Well, you get the picture. We all wondered if the Prom Planning Committee was not so subtly trying to get revenge on whoever appointed them to their task. Maybe the members of the Committee were told they wouldn't graduate unless they agreed to serve, and making the Prom as boring and uninteresting was their revenge. It sounded like the title to one of those B-rated, sentimental teen romantic movies from the 1950s starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello!

Well, it turned out to be a very clever play on one of the most cliché titles ever. As the Prom festivities began, the Committee got up and made fun of the title, but then said they were going to turn this cliché expression on it's head. They said they hoped the evening would indeed be a night to remember, but the surprise was it would be a night to remember some things this year has been about. In particular they were going to be spotlighting a few students who will be remembered for some famous or  infamous moments.

Well, guess who one of those Seniors was? I almost had a major panic attack and then I almost peed my pants when Amanda, one of my best friends and a Committee member, came over to our table and said they wanted to highlight something about me! I broke out in a cold sweat and Matt said I had this look of terror on my face. Matt grabbed my hand and Amanda privately gave me a little summary of what she wanted to say. She said it would be totally okay if I didn't want to be highlighted. So, I just said, "Well, tell me."

 She said I could totally trust her that it would not in any form or fashion be humiliating to me. She said if I agreed, it would involve giving her permission to be open about my being gay. Then she gave a very, very brief hint of what else she would say. I looked at Matt and he said he knew what was planned and said he thought I would love it. So, for about 20 seconds, I had these thoughts in my head: I totally trust Matt. I totally trust Amanda. I've come this far in overcoming my fear about being so public at my Senior Prom by bringing my boyfriend. If I've come this far, might as well take it all the way. So, I just said, "Okay. Let's do it."

Well, they had selected 5 individuals to highlight. One was about Academic Achievement. One was Sports Achievement. One was about achievement in "the arts." Then came someone representing "Class Spirit." And the last was just called, "Achievement in True Love." That last one was me! Well, now it was starting to sound a little cheesy and maybe they were going to cast me as Frankie Avalon, or, more appropriately as Annette Funicello! Amanda and Matt assured me they would NOT make fun of me at my expense. Instead, it was going to be something about making fun of the straight guys (in a completely harmless and playful way). Amanda said she had cleared it with the school principal and the two GSA faculty sponsors. She said they all thought it was in good taste, humorous and in the spirit of the Prom theme. The whole program was actually kinda sweet. The format was similar to a "roast," so even though the comments might be a little embarrassing, they were balanced with a lot of humor.

So, Amanda said I would be last (Gee, thanks. I had all the time I needed to sweat, panic and pee my pants!), and if I wanted to not go through with it after hearing the the 4 other roasts, it would be totally cool.

I'll just give a brief summary of the first roast to prepare you for mine. They called one of the football jocks first. I didn't really know him personally (I'm hardly qualified to fit in that pack!), but he always seemed like a decent guy. He had never harassed me for being gay or anything. So, this guy had almost lost our Homecoming Game when he caught a pass and got turned around and disoriented on the field and ran the ball to the opponent's goal post. The whole team and everybody in the stands was yelling at him until he realized his mistake and did this really cool ballet twirl thing (I think the technical term for it is a pirouette) in which he tried to stop and turn around in the right direction, but somehow he was unable to stop twirling on his toes! Even the opposing team was hypnotized watching him. Nobody moved. Then he got control of his body, stopped, and looked like a deer caught in headlights. Then all 6'4" and 230 pounds of him ran the right way. The opposing team came out of their hypnotic stare, but too late to tackle him. He made the touchdown and we won the game.

Well, the Committee said he almost got the "Arts" award for best ballet dancing! They then presented him with this little pink, ruffly tutu and tiny ballerina shoes. We were all hooting and hollering for him to try it on. He turned five shades of red and was a good sport about it. On the spur of the moment, he grabbed the microphone and announced he had been invited to join the New York Ballet Company! Then he put the tutu over his head and went back to his seat.

They went through the other three people, and then it was my turn. Amanda checked with me one more time to see it I was still okay with it. I looked at Matt and he was smiling. That smile told me all I needed to know. He had been in on the whole thing ahead of time and I absolutely knew I could trust that smile. I just said, "Yeah. Let's do it."

I know I can be an attention slut sometimes. But being the center of attention when you have absolutely no control over it, and you have to trust someone that nothing bad will happen is a whole different thing. I sorta knew the "general idea" of what was going to happen when I went to the front of the banquet hall, but I had no idea of how all my other classmates would react. That was totally out of my control. As Amanda and I were walking to the front, my head became a high-speed computer. Had I made the right decision? Was there still time to back out? Wait, what's that image on the computer screen in my head? Oh, yeah, that's Matt smiling. Somehow I knew he would not let me down. If love meant anything, it meant trust in it's purest form. Trusting yourself to someone else's love is scary. But I knew what I had with Matt was real. Well....... here goes! (Part 2, tomorrow)
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