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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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so the evil overlord list is not being studied, i take it
children of dune - leto 1
So everyone knows already about Constance McMillen and the fake prom and in case you didn't know, the hijacking of facebook page set up to mock her with truly bizarre and hilarious (and sometimes depressing) results. Also, there's a list of the students and parents that attended the "totally not a prom" prom, who have been really helpful in like, announcing themselves on facebook. With pictures.

Give me a second.


I have to say, with due respect for Constance and what she's dealing with, this is like, the most immensely comforting shitty behavior ever. These are the people that want to/support restricting the rights of non-straight, non-gender-comformative students and they are this startlingly stupid.

You have a secret prom wait, party, no, prom and your genius selves post pictures under your real name and profile with the words 'prom' visible. Do you not know what a secret is? Or know not to call it the prom? Really?

Okay, let's say all along they planned this to be an open secret to be revealed with great drama and hilarity. At what point in this clever plan that you would ~magically~ reveal did you think this would go well for you? On Facebook? On the internet? Accessible by millions and millions of people with a lot of time on their hands, a broadband connection, a general sense of right and wrong, and the ability to type semi-coherent sentences? Work with me here; if the final goal was a lifetime of documented infamy, let me applaud your success. You created your own casualties to win a contest you should have fought to the ground to lose.

Now, the other part.

To be generous, I'm going to estimate a fourth of you who participated in this prom did it to go along with the others. You felt a twinge of guilt. You actually don't consider this homophobic really. I bet you convinced yourself that if Constance had just done this in a better way, or just laid low, it would have been fine! You're okay with this gay thing! But gosh darn, she didn't, and this will show her! It's only the prom! Drama! Meanie! Not a real lesbian (really, that's--what you want to go with? Can't wait to see you discover the GLBTQ)! And the other kids will like you. You put pictures on the internet to prove it.

You're homophobic. Not many people will like you. And I'm pretty sure if you ever think about it--I'd avoid it if I were you, for as long as you can--you don't like you either.

You think you aren't homophobic, and I kind of hope that becomes true, I hope it's beginning to be true, or as close to true as any straight ally can ever be.

This is your life.

It's going to bother you. You'll feel guilty, you'll apologize, and you'll ask for absolution or forgiveness and doubtless someone somewhere will give you it. You may march in a thousand Pride Parade and vote for gay marriage and watch your kid marry his same-sex life partner and welcome your grandchildren, and live an entire life in pursuit of being something better than you were.

But you'll still remember this: you were tested, and you failed.

You won't get over it. It will never not hurt. You don't do the right thing only when it's easy or convenient or socially sanctioned or in secret. You do it because to do anything else makes you so much less. The people you aligned yourself with will never feel the sting of this; they didn't have this to lose. They weren't ever going to be better than this, and you could have been. You lost what you could have been that day. You will never get that back.

You also, just for starters, since the consequences of your actions could never be just yours: fucked over a classmate, an acquaintance, a friend for her sexuality. You colluded with a system that oppresses those who don't conform to societal expectations of sexual and gender identity and causes them mental anguish you cannot possibly understand, puts them at risk for physical violence and murder, increases the rate of suicide, denies them the basic civil rights to marriage that you can pull off after a three day bender in Vegas, can take their children, restrict their access to adoption, deny them employment, housing, places to worship, and medical treatment and tries with all its might to destroy their lives.

You reminded millions of people that their entire value is based on their sexual and gender identity and are considered worth less.

You can't take any of that back if you spent your life trying.

Have fun with that.

(I need a nap or a drug habit now, thnx.)

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I've been stewing in it since I read about it Monday or Tuesday. Just. Urgh. That combined so many levels of fail it's hard to sort them out.

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I just... I don't even want to think about it :(

I'm comforted that Constance brought so much attention to it that maybe it won't happen again (I can hope), or at least make people think twice. Because really. No.

I think, other than the rampant bigotry evident in these people's every post and statement, what gets me the most about this is how - stupid they are.

It's like listening to my 7 year nephew try to explain why he isn't to blame for eating all the chocolates.

It's so see-through as to be transparent. Every excuse they come up with at BEST confirms they did a shitty thing for stupid, shallow reasons - and at worse shows them up for bigots. And what's worse - these are the adults as well as the kids. ADULTS. I have no faith in humanity any more. ADULTS. Who have kids. Who should not only know better but at least pretend to be better at knowing when not to fuck around like that.

I would like to see a newspaper find out how many kids actually attended the real prom though. And who the 7 other students at the fake prom were. Maybe there were some who passed the test - maybe some of them went to support McMillen but we just don't know?

There's a blogger who has been getting the names that were freely available on Facebook: http://www.back2stonewall.com/2010/04/fulton-mississippi-really-is-douchiest.html.

And yes, i'd like to know who the other kids who didn't go to the secret prom were, too.

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I'm being generous, but population-wise for the age group (granted, this is the deep south and Mississippi), there are at least a few kids who went who have the ethics, if not the backbone, to know this was wrong.

i was trying to explain to a colleague (a very straight very conservative colleague, mind you) about my "people are stupid" theory. we're smart, over-educated people and we can find a hundred ways to explain why South African white supremacists engage in campaigns of pointless rhetorical grandstanding, why Hitler aimed his hatred at Jews, why millions of Americans continue to engage in hate crimes small and large against the queer community, why killing Catholics is not the same as Protestants pissing in baptismal fonts. but really, it just comes down to the fact that people are fucking stupid. my colleague went on semantics safari before saying "but calling someone a slut shouldn't be a punishable crime" after the topic turned to the MA girl who committted suicide after enduring months of bullying. he left the office shortly thereafter, so i didn't have a chance to point out that as a straight white male he's probably not had a lot of issues with being called a "slut" or been mocked and reviled by his community for taking a stand against prejudice.

and wow, that comment got a lot bigger than intended. but it does go to show that the really stupid people in the world never seem to realize just how stupid they are...or how pantsless.

The epic pantslessness of the population is pretty astounding in general. The lack of desire to put on pants is--well, another story entirely. *shudders*

I love semantics safari. That is a fantastic phrase.

Thank you for this post.

I wish there was a positive list of schools that have been awesome and never did this kind of thing.

I was absolutely disgusted when I was linked the story on the fake prom. Kudos to the takeover of the Facebook page.

Really, I think the people who come off the worst in this story are the adults, providing such a shining example of homophobia for their children. Teenagers are often stupid, and cruel, and you have to hope they'll grow out of it. But they are also very impressionable and conformist at that age, and having parents there saying "you shouldn't be tolerant, you shouldn't be nice, it's a good thing to discriminate, harass, exclude and embrace bigotry" is horrible. I'll bet you some kids at that prom were there because their parents expected them to be. And the school doesn't come off any better, since I'm pretty sure they had to have had some idea that only 7 kids were going to show up at the official unofficial event.

I grew up in a small-to-medium, close-knit, 95% white town. My (female, straight) friend wore a zoot suit to prom and had a female date--she didn't think she had to ask permission first, either. We had boys from the football and basketball teams dress up in drag for school spirit days. Hell, me and my boyfriend dressed up in drag for a spirit day (immortalized in the yearbook as Sonny and Cher, yay). We also had a gay kid who was out, and generally popular. Did my town have issues with modern mores and sexuality? Hell yes, don't even get me started. We even had a middle school play blocked by parents for having the word "gay" in it--a play written by the students, dealing with harassment at school for being different. The difference between my town and that town? When the play was put on in a different location, people actually showed up. The space was donated by the owners, and there were op-eds written to the town paper decrying the decision to not allow the performance on school property. There was no need for the ACLU, no tolerance of exclusion. Idiots like the parents in my town as well as Constance's give small towns a bad name.

*nods* They do. They fulfilled every stereotype of small towns, the south, and teenagers and bullies all in a single stroke. Just. Eww.

Your school was awesome, btw.

It's not just the petty cruelty of the adults, it's the utter stupidity in posting it on Facebook. Honestly. *sighs* This is what makes me glad I don't spend more time wiht the rest of the human race.

That part? Blows my mind. It's like, wtf were you all drunk or just that stupid?

The epic evilness of doing something like this to a kid, a fucking *kid*, really just boggles.

Like, I already have next to no faith in the majority of humanity. And then I actually stop to think about how the majority of humanity is being allowed to procreate and are continuing to pass the evil on through multiple generations and it just makes me really, really sad. And ill.

I just...I want something happy to happen for Constance. Like, I want to maybe give her a pony or something just so she knows that not everyone in the world is such a huge fucking pile of failtard.

Maybe I'll start a charity or something. The "Buy Constance a Fucking Pony NOW" Fund.

A pony would be amazing. I approve.

She did get a scholarship and hopefully she'll go far. Definitely farther than her classmates.

It was nice to see so many people in facebook stepping up.

Fulton, Mississippi, makes me wish God still wreaked vengeance Sodom and Gomorrah-style.

There would be salt everywhere.

(I know, that was Lot's wife, but I am saying, I'd extend that.)

Thank you for putting into words so eloquently what I've been thinking but didn't manage to express nearly so well.

Constance has been so classy through this. Frankly, I'm not sure I'd have her grace under pressure.

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Oh dear God. *facepalm* Hair? Really?

Sorry, I got caught at that. It's just--so bizarre.

Every time I see anything about this I get pissed off all over again. I lived in a bible belt town where only three people were out and a close friend of mine was the first to come out at my school in anyone's memory and he was assaulted on multiple occasions for it. I was never out in high school, so I feel like a total coward, but I just can't imagine how so many people could justify just letting this happen.

I really, really want to know who the seven were who went to the prom that Constance went to. I feel like they shouldn't be lumped in with everyone else in their awful class and town, but they're going to be unless we know names.

I can't imagine trying to come out in high school. And you weren't a coward, which I seriously, seriously hope you know. I'm not sure if I'd realized I was gay or bisexual in high school if I could have even gone every day. It has to get better than this.

Me too. Their names should be known, too.

I feel so proud to work at a school where not only could they give a flying fuck about gay couples going to prom, but they allow the Gay-Straight Alliance kids host assemblies with Q&As in the auditorium in front of their peers! I heart those GLBTQ kids so much! Bigots should be pitied. Pissed on, then pitied.

Thank you for that! That is kind of a high point to know. *hugs*