Georgia High School Approves Gay Prom Date


As it should be:

Bleckley "After asking Bleckley County school officials permission in January to take another boy to the prom, [Derrick] Martin got word last week that his high school will allow it. Bleckley’s prom is April 17 in the high school cafeteria.
“I didn’t expect them to say yes. It’s who I am. I have the same rights,” he said. “It’s my senior prom and I wanted to be able to prove not everyone would cancel prom.”
Martin is an honor student who tutors at-risk elementary and middle school students after school. He also has a full scholarship to college. He said he knew the move would be controversial for the town of about 5,200 residents.
At his high school, prom dates from outside counties must be approved in advance, so Martin went to his principal and asked.
“At first she said no, Cochran wasn’t ready for it,” he said.
But then last week, school officials said they have no policy in place against it."

Even with permission granted, Martin still has concerns: "He worries about the attention that the prom 'walk through,' in which the school announces each senior’s name and the date’s name, will draw attention to him and his date.
'I’ll take out insurance on my tux,' he said, half-jokingly…The Cochran community said it’s surprising.
'I think a lot of people will stare,' said Miranda Taylor, an employee at a Wendy’s restaurant.
Security will be on hand at the dance, school officials said."

A brave kid. Good luck to him.

Meanwhile, in Mississippi


  1. Lou Partridge says

    I am *SO* proud of Derrick … AND … *SO* proud of the Bleckley County school officials … this, in my humble opinion, is the type of values that this country was founded upon …

  2. sparks says

    Awww he’s adorkable!

    He definitely has a Brandon Routh vibe going on. I’m wagering he’s going to be a hottie! Can we please fast-forward 10 years and have a little look-see?

  3. JeffRob says

    He is adorable and a very brave kid. He deserves our gratitude.

    The officials who approved it, though, boy; they’re the ones that are gonna hear about it.

  4. TampaZeke says

    Lesbians demanding to go to the prom with their girlfriends in MISSISSIPPI? Gay young men demanding to go to the prom with their boyfriends in GEORGIA? 500 high school students showing up to a pro-gay protest in LOUISIANA?

    If ANYONE had a doubt about whether or not we are winning the so-called “culture war” this should remove ALL doubt. When the DEEPEST of the deep south starts to fall, IT’S OVER!

    Maggie Gallager, pay real close attention. Your days are numbered. You better pass as much anti-gay legislation as you can in the next five years because that’s about as long as you have before your base reaches a breaking point from die off and our base becomes the majority.

    As a native Mississippian I could NOT be more proud of these kids. I am blown away by the courage and passion that these young people are displaying. HEROES ALL!

    We are quickly coming to a new day in the gay rights movement. Direct action activism is finally made a comeback. We are FINALLY recovering from the loss to AIDS of an entire generation of activists. I for one am LOVING it.

  5. Disgusted American says

    I wish this kid well..and ALL the Luck…tho he sounds like he has a Good Head on his shoulders and a supportive family…awsome!!! I wish I would have had the courage to “come out” in HS….tho it was a ifferent time 76 to 79….only my best friend knew I was “Bi” or so I tried to convince myself then….I mean geez..I should have just KNOWN..I dated 2 girls in HS – one was a Lori Gay (real name), and a Mindy Mann…..Helloooo, if that wasn’t a clue….LOL hence: Gay man…anyways – best of luck to this young man, he sounds like he is on the right path to a Bright Future..besides bein a cutie for his age.

  6. DW says

    @JEFFROB Which is why we all should send the school a note of support. I can only imagine how much hate mail they’re going to receive over this.

  7. ichabod says

    @QUEERUNITY I thought the same thing at first, but if you read the article ANY student who wants to bring a date from outside the county has to ask permission before hand.

  8. ichabod says

    Here’s the contact info for Bleckley County High School should anyone want to join in a show of support:

    (P) 478-934-6258
    (F) 478-934-9707

    I sent the following e-mail:

    I want to commend the school officials of Bleckley County for allowing Derek Martin to bring his date to the prom.

    Though I understand that there are rules in place where students need to ask permission to bring dates from outside the county, I applaud your decision in that it makes the fact that Mr. Martin wants to bring another male student a complete non-issue (which is certainly should be).

    Mr. Martin seems like a great kid and is obviously the product of a school system that values the contributions of ALL of its students.

    Congratulations on a job well done!

  9. AggieCowboy says


    From the way it reads, his date is from outside the county and school policy requires all students (gay and straight) with such dates to request permission.

    It also seems he has some trepidations, so it’s probably a wise move on his part so that the administration isn’t caught by surprise and can better accommodate Derrick and his date.

    That said, I wish Derrick the best of luck in all his future endeavors and hope he has a great time at his prom.

  10. jm says

    If Maggie’s days are numbered, it’s probably more because of adult-onset diabetes than anything.

  11. says

    This story made my morning. I hope he has a great time and the bigots stay home. I think back to my high school days in the 90’s and can’t even fathom doing something as monumentally brave as him. Just wow.

  12. JinAtlanta says

    Derrick, be my guest at the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus concert this weekend. You, your date and your family. Check your FB page. We are SO proud of you!

  13. rich says

    dude thats awesome! im 16 and go 2 school in nj..i play 4 my high school football team ..n i jes came out 2 my parents n my teammates ..n it was way scary but worth it. i think ur a tol stud 4 doin this n good luck 2 u n ur bf..hope u have an awesome time at ur prom!

  14. Henry Holland says

    *SIGH* Why didn’t someone that beautiful ask me to my prom? WHY? [cries buckets of tears] Oh, right, I was a chubby, long-haired stoner closet case who would have punched him if he’d asked. :-( :-(

    Good for him, totally agree with Tampazeke’s post.

  15. DR says

    But why does he need to ask permission in the first place? Just go together. Simple.

    Posted by: Jman | Mar 23, 2010 12:27:08 PM

    Please read the article CAREFULLY. School policy dictates that students must get permission to bring an out-of-district/county date. It wasn’t the gay thing, it was the location thing.

  16. jamal49 says

    I looked at the photo of this wonderful young man and my eyes teared up. First, because of his courage and determination and second, because he will be able to have a prom to remember thanks to some very open-minded people. I look at Derrick’s eyes in this photo and I see hope and optimism, joy and innocence. Damn! It’s a beautiful thing!

  17. dm says

    Such wonderful news. I just sent a note to the High School commending them on their decision.

  18. Ruddigore says

    Wait, he only has 1 date to the prom? I would think the boys would be lining up to be his prom date.

  19. Woody Marshall says

    Please remove the photo of Derrick Martin from your website. You do not own a license to use it. Woody Marshall

  20. Steve says

    I lived in Bleckley County (Cochran) for a year while attending the Georgia Academy of Aviation, Mathematics, Engineering, and the Sciences at Middle Georgia College during my Senior Year of High School. I came out there at the age of 17. The town and people are wonderful. I’m not surprised that a story like this comes from there. I’ll always remember Cochran as the place where I spent the best year of my life so far.

    Way to go Derrick! Enjoy your prom. (I didn’t go to mine, I ended up going with my friends from GAMES to 6 Flags instead. Don’t regret it in the least.)

  21. buno says

    Of course someone has to stoop to comparing him to a porn star. Can you think of nothing else positive to say?

  22. rickg says

    I am so pleased that Bleckley High School and district quietly gave permission for Derrick Martin to take his date to the prom. He has given so much to his school over his 12 years. He deserves this- as all gay young people do. I was so impressed with this school district that I emailed the Superintendent a letter of congratuation. It would be very wonderful if our gay community and all who support our struggle for equality would take a few moments and email this distict and express their gratitude. I emailed Superintendent, Dr. Charlotte Pipkin at

  23. MarkDC says

    Derrick: YOU’RE RIGHT.

    Keep going and don’t stop. You are are wonderful young man. This country needs people like you.

    The school is wrong. Your parents are wrong.

    And, being so young, I hope you avoid the Official Gay Culture trap. Just be the man you already are. You don’t have to change who you are to love men. You don’t have to suddenly absorb Gay Identity and go to Cher concerts just because you like guys.

    When I see stories about young people like you and Constance McMillen I know it is and will be a much better world.

  24. Ashley says

    I go to Bleckley and i personally think that the media is making too big of a deal about this. His boyfriend was kicked out of kicked so why should he be allowed at prom anyway?

  25. Alan K Chan says

    Be Proud Derrick! I hope your parents are proud of you! I definitely am! We need more men like you. Congratulations and good luck!

  26. says

    really..had to ask permission and then seek approval – incredible? I just took my boyfriend – and didn’t care what anyone said. it worked out well.

  27. says

    Aww this kid is sweet! It’s good that he stood up for himself and his date! Prom is a serious matter to high school kids. I know it was when I was still in high school, but our worries were about our Prom Dresses and nothing else! The site http:/ was were we bought our dresses from!

  28. jack says

    Derrick Martin, this 73 year old gay navy veteran salutes you. You have the kind of guts that most of us only wish we had.