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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...

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  1. 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.

    Posted by: DR | Mar 23, 2010 1:11:07 PM

  2. 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!

    Posted by: jamal49 | Mar 23, 2010 1:45:27 PM

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

    Posted by: dm | Mar 23, 2010 1:52:45 PM

  4. JimAtlanta, how did you find his facebook?

    Posted by: secretagentman | Mar 23, 2010 2:20:27 PM


    Posted by: Regularkid | Mar 23, 2010 2:43:49 PM

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

    Posted by: Ruddigore | Mar 23, 2010 3:41:35 PM

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

    Posted by: Woody Marshall | Mar 23, 2010 5:30:15 PM

  8. 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.)

    Posted by: Steve | Mar 23, 2010 6:08:14 PM

  9. Aw, that's so cute! Good for him!

    Posted by: daws | Mar 23, 2010 7:31:49 PM

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

    Posted by: buno | Mar 23, 2010 11:02:25 PM

  11. 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

    Posted by: rickg | Mar 24, 2010 11:22:17 AM

  12. 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.

    Posted by: MarkDC | Mar 24, 2010 1:32:25 PM

  13. 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?

    Posted by: Ashley | Mar 24, 2010 3:57:28 PM

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

    Posted by: Alan K Chan | Mar 24, 2010 5:10:32 PM

  15. 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.

    Posted by: Mark | Mar 24, 2010 8:16:12 PM

  16. Hey your kinda cute and Im glad that you got the support you needed.

    Posted by: Kamren C. | Apr 12, 2010 8:51:45 AM

  17. 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!

    Posted by: Sandy Swiss | Jul 22, 2010 10:26:03 AM

  18. 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.

    Posted by: jack | Dec 9, 2011 12:09:32 AM

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