I have no idea where this tradition started. Were they just end of the year sock-hops? I even think that the kids in Grease just had a carnival. (I say I ‘think’ because I’ve never actually seen Grease.) I supposed I could Goooogle the origins of prom, but I really am not that invested.
I myself never went to my prom. I know – you’re all shocked. But I went to an all-boys school, so I did not have lots of opportunities to meet girls to take. Oh – and I was (and am) gay and had no desire to meet girls, let alone take them to a dance.
When it came time to vote on a prom theme our class had five songs to choose from. I don’t remember any of them, except for the one that was picked: Bruce Springsteen’s ‘She’s the One’. I always found this to be comical – as I assumed that your senior prom was to reflect your…well……senior year. This song was released six years before our senior year. For the record, I did a write-in vote: Nick Lowe’s ‘Cruel to be Kind’ (and even this was released two years before my senior year). No one thought it was funny……but me, of course.
Clearly, this timeframe was a few years back when gay kids never bucked the system and tried to bring a same-sex date. Nor did I want to. Fuck – I didn’t even know a gay anyone my age. It wasn’t an option.
Like many gay teens, even though I had come to a level of self-comfort in my own sexuality, I was still uncomfortable with anyone else knowing. No one wants to be ostracized.
So regardless of what the third paragraph in this post states, I succumbed to peer pressure and social norms. A year or so before senior prom, I tired cloak my identity by going to homecoming with a……a…….. girl! We drank a LOT. I think the pinnacle (if you dare call it that) of the evening would have been the drive home when I noticed she wasn’t going to be able to hold her liquor. Being the quick minded guy I am, I stopped the car on the side of the road, reached over, opened her door and pushed her out of the car while she proceeded to get sick all over herself. But at least my father’s car was still pristine. That probably says a lot about my relationships with women.
Unknown to her, Lynn (I think her name was), helped me to stop trying to pass off ‘the pseudo (or faux) straight guy’ facade for the rest of my high school career. I never went on another ‘traditional’ date and oddly, and no one asked why I never attended the ‘traditional’ events.
It’s great that in this day and age, some high school gays will take a same-sex date to prom. I’m glad more teen gays even have the option. I still don’t think I would have ever attended though.
originally posted on Gay Men Rule – which no loner exists