Omar Bonilla, a gay teen at Pembroke Pines high school in Florida was one of the top three finalists for his school’s coveted prom queen position. Then school officials issued a spurious two-day suspension preventing him from attending prom at all.
School officials had given the nod to Bonilla’s bid for prom queen, but forbade his plan to wear a gown to the event. He attended two meetings with administrators to discuss the issue. They claimed his desire to wear a dress was problematic only because other students might beat him up.
Let me repeat that: you may not wear a dress to prom, because your clothes may incite others to violence against you.
That sounds a little familiar. Like a rape apologist blaming the victim for wearing a slinky dress. Nice going, school officials. Way to celebrate and protect the diversity of your student body.
Instead of resolving the issue, the school slapped Bonilla with a suspension for using one of the school’s visitor parking space while running late to one of these high pressure meetings, rather than parking further away in the visitor lot. Another totally classy move.
I am amazed at the bureaucratic heat kids are having to deal with around these issues this year. First Constance McMillen’s school sent her to a fake prom with her girlfriend, and now this. Back in my day, I went to senior prom with a crew of freaky queer kids. My boyfriend wore a tux jacket, a black velvet miniskirt, fishnet tights and a t-shirt that said “Prom Queen” across the chest.
The consequences? The captain of our school’s football team asked him to dance.
Photo: Miami Herald