Gay Best Friends Named Prom King & Queen, Are The Future

PROM:

Two gay male best friends were voted prom king and queen by such a wide margin at an upstate New York high school that the school didn’t even bother with any runners-up. Seniors Charlie Ferrusi and Timmy Howard won their respective crown and tiara by a landslide Saturday. The guys say they ran the idea past advisers and the principal, who gave their blessing. FYI, the same school refused to let a male student run for prom queen back in 2008.

Maybe most of my knowledge of what a prom court is was informed by Mean Girls, but it’s hard for me to gauge what this actually means as far as the attitudes towards gay teens. While we can agree that the treatment of kids like Constance McMillen and Derrick Martin is straight up about homophobia, does that mean that gay kids being elected prom king/queen/america’s next top high schooler is about acceptance? I guess I feel like the stories we’ve heard recently about gay kids being elected to prom court, like Derrek Lutz of New Jersey, were all actually male-identified. And that’s fine, that’s awesome even, but I wonder a) where the lesbians are, as always, because some of us went to prom too just fyi, and b) whether there isn’t an element of patronization and accessorization of gay men. I’m not here to belittle Charlie, Timmy or Derrek’s crowns because maybe they are very important, I can’t remember prom, but I do remember my high school and I know that if this had happened there, it would have been because people thought it was cute or funny.

Probably I’m wrong though! Probably there are two dozen gay boys out there shaking their heads and saying “Funny, no one treated me like I was cute or funny when I was in high school,” and also Charlie and Timmy won by such a large margin that the school didn’t even both naming a runner-up, so they’re probably just really fucking awesome. The fact that their school didn’t even allow male students to run for prom queen as little as two years ago really does mean the future is bright, and that brave gay teens and their allies are forcing the environment to change, even if it’s slower than we would like. Way to go, guys!

UPDATE:

We just received an email from reader Ashly:

So, I saw the article on the two gay best friends who had won prom King and Queen together, and also the comment posed as to where the lesbians were. Well, they were in a little hick town in central Pennsylvania. Back in 2009, two friends of mine (gay and lesbian respectively) won the titles in our small, relatively conservative high school. I attached a photo of them together-they had originally switched crowns but were made to revert to their own for the newspaper. It was pretty adorable.

(@foxnews)

AMERICAN APPAREL:

According to some new inside information Gawker received, hiring and firing at American Apparel  is now largely based on employee photos:

A source tells us that American Apparel has a new hiring policy. For the past several months, they say, job applicants at AA have had their photos taken—photos which are then sent to the email address work@americanapparel.net, where they are “approved” by a nameless person for hiring. The applicant’s resumé is a distant second when it comes to hiring decisions, our source says.Our source also tells us that a new policy now says that in order for current AA employees to be approved for a promotion or raise, they must also have their photos approved. As they put it, “Your looks determine your position and pay rate, not how effective you are at your job.”

(@gawker)

LESBIAN PORN:

In a kind of awesome display of internet repartee, Queerty claims that the lesbian porn that Jincey Lumpkin makes at Juicy Pink Box is primarily consumed by straight men, and Jincey rolls up pretty much instantly to refute them. “It is absolutely not true that our main customer base is men. We sell largely to bicurious women and lesbians. Straight men are a very distant third- as in less than 10% of our customer base.” Could it be that gay men know just as little about real lesbian porn as straight men? (@queerty)

MATTHEW SHEPARD:

Judy Shepard’s memoir, The Meaning of Matthew, has been rejected from the summer reading program at Appalachian State Universityin Boone, N.C. And some people at the school say it’s because the book was considered homophobic. Emory Maiden, an English professor and director of the summer reading program, responded that he isn’t aware of anyone who found Shepard’s book homophobic, but that the reading group committee “wondered aloud about how her book would work as a discussion of the oppression of and attacks on those who are perceived to be ‘Other.’” My best friend happened to go to college at Appalachian State University and let me tell you – this makes no fucking sense. While there are ironically a LOT of gay folk down in Boone, NC, let’s just say it’s hardly a pillar of  acceptance for the gay community. Something is very fishy here.  (@qnotes)

PRIDE:

Queerty has a list of the 10 Absolute dos and don’ts of the 2010 Pride season. (@queerty)

GARY AND TONY:

If you’re at home on June 24th, maybe check out CNN’s special “Gary and Tony Have a Baby,” which follows two gay men and their fight to form a traditional family through surrogacy. It looks really good! (@cnn)

GAGA:

It’s no Alex Vega Gaga Recap, but not everyone can do this. Anyways Salon also had some feelings on the Alejandro video, and there are no screencaps but it does contain the phrase “Does anyone else think that rosaries look a lot like anal beads?” (@salon)

(Also, Lady Gaga is a Mets fan. Obviously.) (@jezebel)

CAT CORA:

In what seems like maybe a calculated move, out lesbian Iron Chef Cat Cora is beginning her own TV show on Oprah’s OWN network, in which she will visit “families whose eating habits have fallen prey to a busy lifestyle. Cora will help the families balance their busy schedules with healthy eating.” You might notice the similarity to other out (bisexual) celeb Jillian Michael’s new show, “Losing It with Jillian Michaels.” I guess it’s really up to which pretty gay lady’s brand of life advice you prefer.
(@ontopmag)

FILM FESTIVAL:

If you live in or near Three Oaks, California, hoo boy did you ever just hit the lesbian indie film jackpot. The Acorn Theater Film Festival will premiere “Hannah Free,” the story of an out lesbian and the woman she loves who struggle to make their relationship work in a town with traditional values. “I was particularly interested in the story not only because it was a lesbian love story but because it’s a story that features middle-aged and older women as well-rounded multidimensional human beings,” [filmmaker] Carlton says. “They aren’t just superficial lesbian characters who fall in love. These are characters that lived long lives together and keep crossing paths and finding one another. It’s a love story of depth.” (@californiachronicle)

Jess is a pop culture junkie living in New York City. She enjoys endless debates about The L Word, Howard Stern, new techy gadgets, DVR, exploring the labyrinth of the Lesbian Internet, memoirs, working out, sushi, making lists, artsy things, anything Lady Gaga touches, traveling, puppies, and nyc in the fall. Find her on Twitter @jessxnyc or via email.

Jess has written 266 articles for us.

14 Comments

  1. It’s all about the neighborhood/area etc… I mean in my boarding school being gay was SO acceptable that a lot of same-sex couples didn’t even go with each other. I mean, it wasn’t about being with your one & only — we took pictures outside the auditorium, then all boarded school busses together to the prom location, danced, and then went to the bowling alley to go bowling and then took school busses back to school to our own respective single-sex dorm rooms.

    So really only the gays even had the chance to spend the night with their dates, if you think about it. A lot of my straight female friends went together, and a lot of girls went with gay guys. Lots of these gay guys had boyfriends who went with other girls, mostly because they wanted to come up with cute his-and-hers outfits. Maybe that was to mail the parents, who knows.

    Our king and queen were picked out of a hat. Chances are good the king was gay, it was art school. I can’t remember.

    But I think it varies so much area to area. I mean I know girls who took girls to prom in high school in the 80’s and the 90’s where it wasn’t a big deal, but obvs where Constance lives it is a big deal. Which I think says a lot about bigoted attitudes w/r/t nature vs.nurture.

    As for the gender thing with it being two guys voted… I wonder if the idea of lesbian best friends just wouldn’t fly with people everyone would think they were secretly doing it since everyone automatically thinks all girls are secretly doing it and therefore would feel weirder about it? I have a feeling that’s going to be an unpopular theory, just throwing it out there so there is published evidence I woke up on time today.

  2. I tend to agree with pretty much all that was written about the prom king/queen topic, including Riese. And yeah, those guys probably are completely fucking awesome, for reals. But I still have a nagging feeling that this also has a lot to do with the “patronization and accessorization of gay men.” But I always tend to think that, and I thought that when I first read the headline. I’m also frustrated that I assumed that, because clearly so much is changing for the better. BUT – there is a level of acceptance/assumption of gay men being funny, knowing about style and design and cooking, (to the point of “keeping one around” for those reasons) and somehow that feels similar to this.

    There’s just so much to think about.

    • It sounded patronizing to me at first, too, but didn’t the boys go to the school board (or someone in charge at least) and ask to run? So one of them wanted to run for queen. They could have asked to run for king and king, but they didn’t. So whether people voted because they thought it would be funny, he ran in the first place for queen specifically.

      Srsly, that sounds victim-blaming, but it’s not cuz there is no victim. Good for both of them and bravo to that school. At least they have a ton of friends, male and female, voting for them and not hurting them daily.

  3. When I was in high school I don’t think barring same-sex dates was even a question. You HAD to have a date for prom to attend (wtaf, really) so a lot of the girls went together. However, as I live in Alabama (yes, we do exist) and was the only out queer female in my school and happened to come out the year of my prom, I suspect that the rules have changed.

    (I didn’t even go to prom. I dropped out beforehand, got my GED, and went to college while everyone else was still in high school. I’m pretty sure I was in my dorm room sniffing aspirin and St. John’s Wort out of a hollowed-out pen a la that weird movie with Josh Hartnett on prom night.)

  4. My school had what you’d expect – super popular and attractive het people. The year before though, a gay guy (well he wasn’t out yet at that point, but you just /knew/, you know?} was King.

    One thing I always appreciated though was that every year someone from the Special Abilities Section (basically students who had some sort of mental handicap) would be elected to court. And not in like, a mocking haha let’s poke fun at you. But the prom king or queen would dance with them and we’d bring flowers and actually make an honest effort to make them feel special. So maybe not queer or gender related, but my school tried to be progressive. I don’t think it was “ready” for the whole gender issues thing. My little brother tells me that there are a few out lesbians going there now, and that they’re treated pretty well. He’s best friends with one of them.

    I remember the Krystal Bennett thing! I go to college in Bellingham, about 20 minutes away from Ferndale, and grew up about an hour away. My mother was a closet feminist at the time (I was raised Mormon) and I remember her telling me about Krystal and how she was sick and tired of women being forced into these roles. I was like 12, at the time. I think the Krystal Bennett story is really about misogyny as much as anti queer feelings.

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