Bigot of the Week Award, October 17: The Vincennes New Years Eve Ball

17 Oct

LincolnThank you to my friend and staunch LGBT ally Jennifer Carey for pointing me to this Bigot of the Week, a sad snapshot of just how far we have to go on the road to equality and why celebrations like National Coming Out Day are still very necessary.

Every year for decades Juniors and Seniors at Vincennes Lincoln High School in Vincennes, IN have been invited to participate in an annual New Years Eve Ball, with the restriction that the event is for “couples only.” Sadly, since 2004 the invitations have clarified that only “traditional couples” are welcome. Wow! That’s some harmfully loaded and coded language.

Just in case anyone was uncertain about that language, the charmfree Lincoln High School Super Straight Alliance has tweeted “We don’t cheer for queers!” and used the tag #StraightPower. So much for equal access at this public institution.

The group that organizes the party every year hides behind the fact that the Ball is funded by parent contributions and held off campus. Those facts do nothing to change the fact that the Ball is inherently bigoted and damaging to LGBT students. Invitations are distributed at school; the yearbook publishes pictures of couples at the Ball every year; the university that hosts the Ball is ALSO a public institution. Whatever defensive posturing and sickening sidesteps the hosts use, this event discriminates.

That’s the most important detail, making all the quibbling over who funds the event and where the students dance immaterial. LGBT couples are told they aren’t welcome, forced to accept that they are second class citizens. That damage is a lesson that will last for years after high school is just a distant memory. Bigotry is bigotry, even in fancy dress.

5 Responses to “Bigot of the Week Award, October 17: The Vincennes New Years Eve Ball”

  1. Central Oregon Coast NOW October 17, 2014 at 7:11 am #

    Reblogged this on Central Oregon Coast NOW.

  2. prideinmadness October 17, 2014 at 9:40 am #

    This just excludes in so many ways! What about singles?

    This reminds me of the documentary on the racially segregated proms in Mississippi….

    My friend brought her long time girlfriend to our prom and no one cared. It made sense.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt October 17, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

      Yes, exactly. It excludes so many people and sends a horrific message around power and privilege.


  1. Bigot of the Week Award, October 17: The Vincennes New Years Eve Ball | Hoosier Herald - October 18, 2014

    […] Source: Bigot of the Week Award, October 17: The Vincennes New Years Eve Ball […]

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