A lesbian couple in Minneapolis won their fight with the school district to walk in the school’s Royalty Court together.
Sarah Lindstrom and Desiree Shelton were greeted with cheers when they entered their school’s Snow Days Pep Fest together in matching black suits. That’s a wonderful and appropriate reaction. So much better than the sneaky fake prom Constance McMillen’s classmates staged last year after she won the right to bring her girlfriend to prom.
The girls got a standing ovation from their classmates, to the relief of school administrators. A gay student in their district committed suicide after being bullied, and the school’s policies have been hotly criticized by gay rights supporters.
The girls were elected to the school’s Royalty Court together, but as soon as they’d won their place, school officials said that students on the Royalty Court would walk in individually instead of in pairs. They said their aim was to prevent the girls from being teased.
Shannon and Desiree wanted to walk together though, as their school has traditionally done. So on Friday, two human rights groups sued the school on their behalf. Federally mediated talks followed the next day. The two sides agreed that students in the royalty court would be escorted by anyone meaningful to them, regardless of gender or age.
The scene, per the NY Daily News:
Young women in evening gowns and young men in dark suits walked through a makeshift arch and to the stage during the Monday afternoon pep rally complete with cheerleaders, dance teams and the school band. So did two young women in suits, and the crowd cheered for each one.
Hopefully, these little moments of triumph will vanish soon along with the darker moments like the fake prom Candace McMillan endured last year. It’ll be a great day when two girls going to a school dance together doesn’t spark controversy and lawsuits, but is just perfectly normal.
That’s the case already in many places around the country. As more and more schools accept the queer students in their midst, the tide will turn. In the meantime, kudos to these two brave young women for taking a stand together.