Discrimination | Education | Gay Youth | News | North Carolina

Gay NC Teens Allowed to go to Prom After Cool Mom Steps In


Two gay teens, Jordan Nixon and his boyfriend Chase have been allowed to attend prom at Starmount High School in Booneville, NC after Jordan's mom Leesa heard how Chase had been told by the principal that he couldn't bring a "friend" to the prom. After explaining that Jordan was not a friend but a "boyfriend" the school still wouldn't relent.

Jordan's mom Leesa Nixon went to the principal, threatened to take action and go to the media, and quickly the issue was resolved.

This is the story of a great parent standing up for her gay kid and a school faced with the threat of exposing its discriminatory behavior.

Writes Leesa Nixon:

"The discrimination that Chase was confronted with has been resolved. I called and spoke with his principal and informed her that not allowing Chase to bring his boyfriend to the prom was discrimination and a violation of his constitutionally protected rights. I threatened to call the ACLU, (which I did) and go to the media.

After our first conversation, I was contacted by Mrs. Parker, who informed me that she was waiting on the school attorney to call.

April 7th, Mrs. Parker left a message on my phone stating that she had spoken with the school attorney and that the school was going to allow Chase to bring my son Jordan to his Senior Prom “as his outside date” and that what they were going to have to do, was change the rule to allow students to bring a guest and not necessarily a “date”.

To be fair to Mrs. Parker, I got the distinct impression that she did not agree with this policy and was only trying to follow the rules that were in effect in her school district before she got there. She immediately went to work and corrected the issue at hand.

I applaud Starmount High School for their quick actions, I brought this issue to their attention and in one day they not only changed their initial decision, they changed their policy to ensure that this would never happen again. Although they change their policy to state “guest” instead of “date”, it is still a step in the right direction and they should be admired for their willingness to change. It is my hope that all schools would respond to these issues in such a fair and timely manner.

Head on over to Jack Mackenroth's blog to read the entire tale, as well as Chase's account of his meeting with the principal.

Enjoy your prom, guys!

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. Way to go mom!!!

    Posted by: JusticeontheRocks | Apr 9, 2010 12:42:38 PM

  2. His mom is as much of an inspiration as he is. Congrats to all of them!

    Posted by: Geoff | Apr 9, 2010 12:52:27 PM

  3. Every child, gay or straight, should have parents like her. Brava woman, you do your child well.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Apr 9, 2010 12:52:27 PM

  4. "I applaud Starmount High School for their quick actions"

    I wouldn't necessarily applaud them if Leesa had to threaten legal action and media exposure to get them to change their policy. That sounds more like expediency than being principled.

    Posted by: robert | Apr 9, 2010 12:54:09 PM

  5. I applaud these courageous kids and the awesome mom.

    This is truly a step forward but I have a problem with them changing to policy to state that a student can bring a "guest" instead of a "date".

    This was a clever way for the school system to actually win in its discrimination. They ONLY changed the language so that they could continue to hold the policy that students can't take same-sex dates. Though this woman's son will be allowed to go with his "guest" they have been reduced to "friends". This tactic is used all the time to reduce, and deny, our relationships with clever twists of the tongue.

    The correct policy change would have been to leave the language in place and define "date" in a gender neutral way. At the very least they could have changed it to state that a student can bring a date or guest and let the student determine how they choose to identify their "guest" or "date".

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Apr 9, 2010 12:55:20 PM

  6. And it seems to me that this only became a problem when males started finding the courage and audacity to take a same sex "date", "guest" or "friend".

    Girls have been attending proms with other females, even girlfriends, since the very first prom ever held.

    Is there ANYONE here who didn't have girls who came to their prom with another girl? Mine sure did, and no one said a word.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Apr 9, 2010 12:58:57 PM

  7. "Jordan's mom Leesa Nixon went to the principal, threatened to take action and go to the media, and quickly the issue was resolved."

    And then she went to the media anyway. Isn't it possible to have two gay students go to the prom together without everyone making a media spectacle of it now? This is precisely the reason why many schools try to PREVENT gay kids from going to the prom.

    Jordan and Chase should be allowed to go to the prom without a peep from anyone, just like every other normal high school student

    Posted by: Mike C. | Apr 9, 2010 1:18:52 PM

  8. Well, semantics or not, considering the recent spate of prom discrimination news, this is how it's done, and it's nice to see it done nicely. Sure, there is some clean-up needed around the edges, but overall - exactly how it should be. And the next step for next year's proms will be for schools not to make a fuss in the first place.

    Posted by: Zlick | Apr 9, 2010 1:19:17 PM

  9. It's great to see young gay guys getting to take their boyfriends to the prom. But I wonder about all the fat chicks now left without dates.

    Posted by: crispy | Apr 9, 2010 1:26:10 PM

  10. Do Chase and Jordan go to the same school? They had to change the rule regarding "outside dates" therefore I get the impression they did not go to the same school. I can understand not wanting a student to bring someone who doesn't go to the school if they're just friends, but the simply way to do that is just to tell those people that they can't bring a friend. If they say "Chase got to bring his friend!" you can just say, "No, Chase is bringing a date." Knowing high schoolers I doubt they'd try to claim a friend is actually more than a friend. Even if they did, now that they've changed the rule it doesn't even matter.

    The end result is that this young man gets to go to the prom with his boyfriend, and I'm grateful to Mrs. Parker for that. I think I could've been resolved much easier if people weren't so arrogant.

    Posted by: Matt McD | Apr 9, 2010 1:26:35 PM

  11. Sorry, "they could've" instead of "I could've" I had not involvement in this lol.

    Posted by: Matt McD | Apr 9, 2010 1:28:54 PM

  12. Nice, but she apparently did go to the media after all. When I was growing up I don't recall anyone needing the school's permission on who they brought. A friend brought a married, 35 y.o. women to the prom! (They were not married to each other.)

    Posted by: anon | Apr 9, 2010 1:49:05 PM

  13. Cute boyfriends.

    I think the rule change is a good one, but what does changing the rule to allow "friends" have to do with this couple? They are each other's date.

    Posted by: Randy | Apr 9, 2010 1:51:00 PM

  14. Ouch, Crispy! For gays without dates, fat girls are the next best thing to a perfect prom experience. I have no regrets!

    Posted by: Robert | Apr 9, 2010 1:55:35 PM

  15. @ Mike C.

    I couldn't agree more with your sentiment that we SHOULD be at a point where it was no big deal when two gay students go as dates to a prom, but you couldn't be more wrong when you say this about this ending up in the media:

    "This is precisely the reason why many schools try to PREVENT gay kids from going to the prom."

    No, that's not the reason. The reason is bigotry, pure and simple. And it is important than when this kind of bigotry is overcome it becomes newsworthy. These examples where students triumph over initial prejudice by authority figures help inspire others, and that's how progress is made. That's news.

    But if a principal thought "hey, I'm not going to let these gay kids go to the prom together because if we DID let them go together we might end up in the news," that principal would either be the dumbest person on earth or in need of serious psychological help. Believe it or not, in more progressive school districts (like not in Mississippi and North Carolina), gay and lesbian kids do sometimes go to the prom together, and it doesn't end up in the news.

    The way these recent cases have made it to the media is because the school administrations have first tried to prevent the students from going, forcing threats of legal action. If the school hadn't said a peep about them going, I'm not sure why any news outlet other than maybe the religious right lunatic fringe would have found it newsworthy. It's really difficult to imagine a news break saying "Tonight at eleven: two gay kids go to prom!!!!!" if there'd been no original controversy or pushback from the school.

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Apr 9, 2010 1:56:35 PM

  16. I echo Anon's comment, aside from that the mother should not have gone to the media after she agreed she wouldn't, why couldn't the kid have just brought his friend/bf to the prom without asking and making a big stink about it?

    Posted by: Mike C. | Apr 9, 2010 1:56:55 PM

  17. What a wonderful mother!

    Posted by: Drew | Apr 9, 2010 1:58:39 PM

  18. I believe that the School Boards across the nation needs some serious re-education about all of us in the LGBT Community, and cut all the stereotyping, etc. If I was Out back in 1983, I believe that my Mom would have done the same thing. I didn't come out til July of 2008 at the age of 45. I never went to my prom.

    Posted by: Michael B | Apr 9, 2010 2:26:00 PM

  19. Mike C. - Based on what i read, mom agreed not to go to the media to air her gripes and let them work it our internally. She did exactly that. She went to the media discussing a succesful resolution. Besides, in this social climate you aren't going to keep these things out of the media anyway. I give her major credit for doing the righ thing the right way.

    Maybe when people see gay couples at proms and the world doesn't come to an end, we can move on to other things.

    Posted by: JusticeontheRocks | Apr 9, 2010 2:33:24 PM

  20. moma rules!!!!

    Posted by: sal(yes the original) | Apr 9, 2010 2:35:20 PM

  21. i was in high school in the 70s and have absolutely no recollection whatsoever of schools dictating who one could bring to the prom.

    my sister went to her prom with a group of friends (and i don't believe any of them were paired up) and no one thought twice about it.

    my school was so small that, instead of proms, we just had free-for-all dance parties that everyone attended.

    it just seems a little strange that to people can't go to a party together because they're both boys or both girls-regardless of whether or not they're dating.

    Posted by: alguien | Apr 9, 2010 2:42:57 PM

  22. Despite the personal stress endured by these kids, there are three very positive aspects of these stories: 1. Parents and educators are reminded that there are and have always been gay kids going to prom. 2. Out gay kids are learning that they can go to prom with whomever they want because others have blazed the trail. 3. Educators are learning how stupid they are made to look when they discriminate.

    The Justin/Austin dance on Ugly Betty didn't appear to cause any heart attacks or fainting (maybe they were off camera). Why should it be any different at a prom?

    Posted by: Hue-Man | Apr 9, 2010 2:50:09 PM

  23. aww, yay!

    Posted by: KFLO | Apr 9, 2010 3:09:54 PM

  24. ZLICK, do you really think changing an existing policy which allowed students to bring "dates" to a new policy that allows them to bring "guests", a policy that was only changed so that same-sex couples would not be recognized as "dates", is nothing more than an issue of semantics?

    You probably also believe that the only difference between marriage and legally recognized roommates or civil unions is only matter of semantics.

    If it were simply a matter of semantics then people wouldn't be so crazy obsessed with making sure that gays don't get to officially call their dates "dates" or call their marriages "marriages". Their would have been no need to change the wording of the policy. They would have just recognized that "dates" could be of either gender.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Apr 9, 2010 3:21:25 PM

  25. Their = There

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Apr 9, 2010 3:22:30 PM

  26. 1 2 3 »

Post a comment


« «Texas GOP Lawmakers File Briefs Opposing Gay Divorce« «