Digital History at Ursinus

"Pride Proms Speak Volumes about the Intolerance Still Present Nationwide." April 26th, 2001.

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"Pride Proms Speak Volumes about the Intolerance Still Present Nationwide." April 26th, 2001.


This opinion article discusses the homophobia and discrimination that LGBTQ+ youth experience in high school. The author discusses the necessity of "pride proms" organized for LGBTQ+ students to have safe spaces to celebrate the tradition of Prom, but argues that their necessity also reveals discrimination and intolerance that attempts to segregate queer students.


Independent Florida Alligator


The Grizzly


Ursinus College







Text Item Type Metadata


It’s prom time all across America.

All over the country, high school seniors are preparing to go out for one last dance before packing up and heading to college.

For many, prom is something that has been looked forward to all year.

But there are some who have shied away from conventional proms and have blazed their own trails.
Last spring, the Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays helped sponsor the first gay prom in St. Petersburg.

The prom was not the first of its kind in our country and will not be the last.

There are two gay proms scheduled in Long Island, N.Y., this year. Both of them will be the first of such events held there.

Of course, the event is being held independent of any schools in the area.

But those who feel going to a conventional prom does not conform to their specific needs will still have a place where they can dance with whomever they wish without coming under the scrutiny of those around them.

Florida and Long Island are not the only places where such events are being held.

Having gay proms is not a revolutionary idea in some parts of the country.

Boston has had a gay prom for 20 years and New York’s Harvey Milk School, an alternative school, has been holding a gay prom since the 1980’s.

But the idea of having smaller proms held for gay students in other parts of the country like Georgia, South Carolina and yes, Florida, has not exactly caught on fire.
Many people find the idea of homosexuality abhorrent and the idea of a gay prom even worse.

Some people feel there is not a need for gay proms.
They say the very idea of specializing for people who have different sexual orientations is ridiculous and should not be done.

We agree— just for different reasons.

For all the talk of tolerance in this country, we are still very backward when it comes to accepting the lives and life-styles of people who are different than us. Wrapping around the idea of same-sex relationships is exceedingly difficult for some. Because of that, homosexuality has become a dirty little secret for many people.

In the past, those who had different sexual orientations had to lie about who they really were. The same is true for many people who are gay now. They are ostracized simply for whom they chose to be with.

So much so that they feel they must organize their own proms in order to feel safe being with each other in a formal setting at the end of their high school careers.
Gay high school students are being made to segregate themselves from the rest of their peers.

That is not fair.

We disagree with the idea of having students all over the country have to organize gay proms because we disagree with the idea that homosexuals should have to feel like they must take themselves away from the rest of society in order to be accepted.

Our problem is not with the gay proms, but with the society that made them necessary.

People’s opinions on homosexuality must change if our society ever hopes to continue to advance.

There are a lot more reasons to not like a person than their sexual orientation, or race, or religion or any other capricious reasoning used to hate an individual based on their intrinsic beliefs and behaviors.

Hopefully, we will get to the point where homosexuals will feel welcome enough where they will not have to pull away from everyone else for fear of being renounced by everyone else.

Original Format

newspaper article




Independent Florida Alligator , “"Pride Proms Speak Volumes about the Intolerance Still Present Nationwide." April 26th, 2001. ,” Digital History at Ursinus, accessed August 10, 2020,