Tennessee High School Creates New Policy To Block Gay Teen’s Homecoming Date

In Tennessee, a state well-known for its open-mindedness, an all boys school has come up with a uniquely dumb excuse for not allowing Lance Sanderson, one of their openly gay students, to bring his boyfriend to the homecoming dance:

“CBHS students may attend the dance by themselves, with other CBHS students, or with a girl from another school,” the school’s policy states. “For logistical reasons, boys from other schools may not attend.”


Now, at first blush, that almost, almost, seems like a reasonable stance to take. Interschool rivalries and trash talking can easily lead to fist fights and so on and so forth. But that only works if the policy wasn’t created specifically to keep this one kid from bringing his totally gay date to the dance:

“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,” Sanderson said. “(But) 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 said the policy against bringing boys from other schools was drafted in response to his request, and he said the policy has been read daily this week over the intercom.

I wish I could believe that all of this was a misdirected, but heartfelt effort on the part of the school administration to protect this kid but, seriously? Murder? The girls attending this dance are more likely to be raped by one of the football players than Sanderson is to be murdered by his boyfriend. There’s grasping at straws and then there’s this.

Lance has started a petition to let his school know that anti-gay bigotry is not acceptable anymore. In it, he describes the kind of hate he encounters at school:

But when that [sympathetic] school official left over the summer, I was met with harsh opposition by my school. One administrator told me that even though some people interpreted Pope Francis’s teachings on the issue as meaning they should support same-sex couples, these people are, “not the authority to which Christian Brothers High School is accountable.”And now my school is making daily announcements across the whole school, saying that students can’t bring same-sex dates from other schools.


At some point, schools all over this country are going to have to start teaching their students certain fundamental facts of life: Girls are not sex objects, racism is not OK and who people choose to love is none of your goddamn business. Until they do, we’re going to have to keep putting up with this kind of nonsense.


Featured pic via Change.org