Mississippi lesbian student attends "Prom For All" in Memphis

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A prom to be held Saturday night at the Double Tree Hotel in Downtown Memphis may bring closure for one Mississippi student as well as anyone who wants to relive their prom.

Constance McMillen asked the Itawamba County School District if she could bring her girlfriend to her senior prom.  She also wanted to wear a tuxedo.

The district declined the request and canceled the prom.

"I went home crying because I felt like I wasn't going to get to go to prom," McMillen said.

McMillen has gotten used to the national spotlight in recent months.  She said she was excited about finally attending prom.

"This is a prom people can go to, you can be yourself," McMillen said.  "Bring who you want to, wear what you want to.  At my school, that was not an option."

Parents organized their own private prom open to Itawamba Agricultural High School student, but McMillen said she did not find out she was welcome at that prom until it was too late to get tickets.

"I was told the deadline was the Saturday before I asked," McMillen said.

The Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center (MGLCC) organized Saturday's "Prom For All" and invited McMillen as the guest of honor.

"One of those things we want people to know is that this not just for high school students," said MGLCC Executive Director Will Batts.  "It's not just for gay and lesbian people.  It's a prom for 18 and older and you can go and re-experience the prom or go with someone you couldn't go with the first time."

McMillen said Saturday's prom was great, something was still missing.

"There is nothing that anyone can do to change the things I went through," McMillen said.

A federal judge ruled that he would not force the Itawamba County School District to hold a prom but did say that blocking her from prom may have violated McMillen's First Amendment rights.

The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the district over the prom cancellation.  That lawsuit is now pending.

McMillen graduated from high school Wednesday.  She said she plans to major in psychology at Itawamba Community College.

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