Homo Welcome to the Heartland
posted by April 20 at 9:34 AMon
A gay teenager is taking a boy—another gay teenager, thank God—to his high school prom. It was big news when it happened in Chicago in the early 1980s. And it’s big news when it happens in Fargo, North Dakota in 2007.
Prom is about grand dresses, sharp suits and tuxedos, and good times with friends and classmates. Jakob Paper and Steven Goering hope to add acceptance to the list.
Paper, a Fargo South High senior, and Goering, who is getting his high school degree from the North Dakota Division of Independent Study, plan to attend the South High prom Saturday at the Fargo Civic Memorial Auditorium. The 18-year-olds will do the Grand March together as boyfriends and be introduced on stage in turn with the other couples.
“Nobody’s ever done it as far as I’m aware,” Paper said of two gay men attending a local prom.
Paper has been open about his homosexuality since eighth grade. Goering, who recently moved to Fargo from Mayville, N.D., said he told his parents four years ago. He told most of his friends in January.
The right-wing haters can spew—and they’re spewing on the website of the Fargo-Moorhead Forum—but I don’t see how you can set the clocks back to the 1950s if gay teenagers are coming out to their families at 14. In North Dakota.
UPDATE: As commenters have pointed out, not everyone at the Forum’s website is spewing hate about the gay teenagers going to prom. If anything, these kids are getting more supportive comments than they are slams. Another reason for hope.
Thanks to Slog tipper Kim Winnegge.