Prom Night 2001

    Prom night is here again. A time for music, refreshments, decorations, and corsages. It means floor-length gowns for girls, tuxedos and ruffled shirts for guys. The school prom is a much- anticipated event, where couples can dance, and everyone wants to be with that "special someone" when the soft music begins. It's a time of transition -- a time of growing up, remembering the past, and looking forward to the future. But prom nights have changed since you and I were kids -- especially with the advent of the "gay prom" on high school campuses this year. Yes, that's right. Gay proms -- girls with girls, and guys with guys, snuggling and moving their bodies to the music. And events like these are being promoted all across the nation. One gay prom on Long Island this spring promises to draw as many as 150 gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered students. Similar events are being planned for Seattle, Cleveland, and New Orleans. "These proms are establishing that there is a gay community in high school," says Kathleen C. Miller, a member of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. The group helped sponsor the first gay prom in St. Petersburg, Florida, last spring. Some parents object to their sons and daughters attending gay proms, but many have expressed understanding and support. They "view the special proms as an opportunity for their gay children to embrace identities in a way that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago," says Miller. Gary A. Vegliante, mayor of West Hampton Dunes, New York, says he's "uncomfortable with the idea of gay sex." He believes "gay proms should not take place." "But," he says in almost the same breath, "he could understand why these two [proms] were needed." Those who attend the Sayville, New York, prom on June 8th will pay $30 a ticket, and join about 150 gay and lesbian students dancing to the theme, "Free to Be." They'll see guys in dresses and girls in tuxedos. Bisexual student Michael Valverde, eighteen, says he's looking forward to it. "To me," he says, "this prom means everyone is accepted. No matter who you are, it is the kind of person you are inside who you can be at this prom." According to the New York Times, "The proms are a reflection both of the growth in gay identity and the response to it, at a time when gay issues are pervading the culture in a way that they did not in the past." The leader of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network claims gay proms are an indictment of society, pointing out how we have failed in the past to recognize gays. But Father John Harvey, who heads a spiritual support group for homosexuals in Manhattan (called Courage) says, "It is the sign of the decadence of our culture." And he's right. Without moral guidance, and without bold resistance from Christian parents and other defenders of biblical morality within the culture, gay proms won't be just a curiosity in the headlines; they'll be a regular occurrence, and one more indication of what happens to a nation that gives up on virtue and moral responsibility. If we love our kids, we won't let that happen.


Chuck Colson



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