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Heart of Harker: Being LGBTQ+ at prom

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Heart of Harker: Being LGBTQ+ at prom

by Emmy Huchley and Raphael Sanche

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Prom season is upon us, and we’re all expecting the cute asks, matching outfits and cheesy slow songs. But for Harker’s LGBTQ+ students, prom isn’t just a time of fun traditions. With every promposal or slow dance, we wonder how the people around us are going to react. More often than not, the students around us are incredibly supportive, cheering and giving congratulations. But where’s the line between being supportive and making LGBTQ+ students feel singled out?

The line depends on how a straight, cisgender couple would be treated in the same situation. A promposal for a gay couple shouldn’t be treated any differently from a promposal for a straight one, even if allies are worried that they might come across as being unsupportive or uncomfortable. We don’t want to be overly congratulated for just living our lives like any cisgender, heterosexual couple, whether that means people “oohing” and “aahing” at a promposal or gathering around to watch a same-gender couple during a slow dance. Especially when a straight and cis couple wouldn’t garner anywhere near the same level of attention. The public support, even though it’s well-meaning, sometimes borders on overwhelming to the point of making us uncomfortable.

Treat us like you would anyone else; we don’t want our relationships to be the center of attention any more than you do.”

So what can you do to show your support without making LGBTQ+ students feel singled out? The answer is pretty simple: just don’t try to offer extra support, even if it’s to make clear that you’re not homophobic or transphobic. Treat us like you would anyone else; we don’t want our relationships to be the center of attention any more than you do. Saying congrats after a promposal is enough to show your support of us; you don’t need to go to extra lengths to make your allyship felt. And as for slow dances, don’t draw more attention to us than you would to any straight, cisgender couple. We want our experience at any dance, not just prom, to be a fun night, with a significant other if we have one. The best way to support us in that regard is by letting us have that experience without making it into a public display.

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Heart of Harker: Being LGBTQ+ at prom