Homecoming is a special time for many high school students. They get to put on their best dressy attire, cheer their home football team, and reminisce with alumni who have already graduated. It’s a rite of passage of high school life in America, and every student should get to have the time of his or her life on that special night. It’s also a time to go to the dance that happens after the football festivities with a date of one’s choosing — which is another thing that every student should be able to do without incident.
Unfortunately, these rites of passage often present problems for LGBTQ kids in America’s high schools, which is the situation with Lance Sanderson, who is a student at Christian Brothers School in Memphis, Tennessee.
Now, this is not only a Christian school, but also a boys’ Catholic
predatory preparatory school.
To that end, it really isn’t that surprising that Sanderson had problems when he asked if he could take another boy to the homecoming dance. However, the real kicker is this: Sanderson had asked previously if he could take another boy, and a staff member who no longer works there told him that he could.
Now, the school has conveniently reversed that decision, citing a policy that while the boys at the school can bring girls from outside schools, no boys from other schools will be allowed to attend. The following official school stance on the matter has been read during announcements the entire week of homecoming:
CBHS students may attend the dance by themselves, with other CBHS students, or with a girl from another school. For logistical reasons, boys from other schools may not attend.
Sanderson says of the school’s response when he inquired as to what they meant by “logistical reasons”:
The way they worded it is ‘for logistical reasons, boys from other schools may not attend.’ I asked about it in a meeting [Tuesday] morning, and they said they didn’t want guys from our school getting into disagreements with guys from other schools.
The really awful part of all of this is what happened when Sanderson initially approached the school with his request. The administrator he sat down with not only gave him an answer of “no,” despite what the other administrator had said, but he also went on a rant about some man from Texas who had supposedly murdered his gay lover:
I was sitting down talking to one of the current administrators over the summer, and at the end of our conversation, I mentioned it, expecting him to say the same thing. And he had a very different response. He mentioned a [gay] couple in Texas and said I was a lot like this one person and said that the guy’s boyfriend murdered him. It was a little rough.
Sanderson is being very nice about this. Even if the answer was, for whatever reason, that he would not be allowed to bring a male date to the dance, this homophobic ranting was grossly inappropriate and completely uncalled for. The whole world is well aware of the Catholic Church’s stance on homosexuality; however, that does not give administrators at Catholic schools to emotionally abuse LGBTQ students with their homophobia.
Of course, when local paper the Memphis Flyer, which took the account of Sanderson’s order, reached out to the school for comment, John Morris, director of marketing and communications for Christian Brothers High School had no comment. To be expected, as bigots are usually also cowards.
Hopefully, Lance can have a good time at homecoming anyway, though, I am sure at this point he doesn’t even want to go. *Sigh*