Prom Is for Straight Kids
Many gay teenagers, just like many straight teenagers, look forward to attending their high school prom. Unfortunately, some people don't like the idea of seeing two boys or two girls dancing together, and therefore attempt to prevent them from attending said prom together. Alternatively, the gay characters themselves might not want to draw attention to themselves. This may result in outrage from their friends and/or family and some sort of happy resolution.
Truth in Television
for many, unfortunately, and some schools outright ban gay and lesbian couples from prom.
- Funky Winkerbean – A spring 2012 storyline featured a homosexual couple wanting to attend the prom together and purchasing tickets. Roberta Blackburn, a conservative activist from Westview, learns what is happening and stages a protest to force school officials to deny entry of the couple into the prom. When a counter-demonstration is planned, principal Nate Green defuses a potentially explosive showdown by announcing that the gay students will be allowed to attend and that discrimination and intolerance will not be allowed in his hallways as long as he is principal.
- Saved! did it as well, although the controversy was as much over the teenage mother showing up to prom as that her gay ex-boyfriend also showed up with his boyfriend.
- On Camp, the Camp Gay kid tried going to a school dance in drag, only to have his ticket thrown back at him. He later gets beaten up in the hallway.
- In Ishmael and the Hoops of Steel, Bill Kingsley initially doesn't want to bring a date to prom, because he doesn't want to make trouble for the school. However, Razz sets up a Win-Win-Win-Win-situation by suggesting that Bill and his date Jimmy officially go with two girls from Sally's school who were in the same situation and couldn't attend their own prom.
- Dawson's Creek: When the prom committee tells Jack he isn't allowed to attend his prom with his boyfriend, his friends create an Anti-Prom instead.
- Queer as Folk: Justin initially doesn't want to go to his prom because he thinks it's only for straight kids, then wants to go with Brian, and ends up asking Daphne to go with him as friends. Brian surprises Justin by showing up dressed to the nines and shares a wonderful dance with him...and then Justin is gay-bashed and nearly dies.
- Averted in Glee. Kurt attends with his boyfriend and Brittany can clearly be seen dancing with another girl at one point.
- However, Kurt was voted prom queen by the student body apparently as a mean-spirited prank, although he handles the situation well. And Santana believes that she lost the crown because she's a lesbian, but that doesn't seem to be factual.
- Earlier in the episode, Blaine and Burt try to discourage Kurt, not from going to the prom, but from wearing a kilt as part of his prom outfit. They explain that it's not that they think there's anything wrong with it, and that he should be able to wear what he likes...but both of them are afraid for his safety, thinking that if Kurt were to go wearing a "skirt", then he might be beaten up at some point.
- Blaine reveals that at the school he went to before Dalton, he asked the only other "out" gay boy in the school to the Sadie Hawkins dance. Considering they both got the shit beaten out of them, it didn't go so well.
- Next year's prom has Blaine and Kurt go together as well as Brittany and Santana as dates. There's no issue.
- Averted on Degrassi when Marco and Dylan go to the end-of-the-year semi-formal, which several characters refer to as prom, seemingly without any issues from either school staff members or classmates.
- Averted again in Season 10. Riley and Zane were on the ballot for Vegas Dance royalty (King and King, for them). They didn't win, but there is still Prom.
- Happened on Kyle XY.
- After Kenny from The War At Home finally came out of the closet, he decided to go to prom with his boyfriend, but the school wouldn't allow it. This manages to get to the local news, only to lead to him getting taken by Child Services, seeing as the Golds weren't his actual parents.
- Happens on 8 Simple Rules when Kerry decides to show her support for gay people (even though she herself wasn't gay) by taking a girl to prom. A subversion occurs when it turns out her date was also doing the same thing, meaning both girls thought the other one was a lesbian.
- Lampshaded in the rebooted Teen Wolf. Scott McCall, who is straight, is forbidden to attend a dance but sneaks in anyway. He's spotted by a teacher, so he grabs his gay classmate for a dance. The teacher is too afraid of being thought of as homophobic to make a scene kicking Scott out if he's there with a boy, so Scott gets to stay at the dance.
- Class Menagerie had Mikey reminiscing about the time his high school put on a rendition of Grease expy musical Slicked, where he had gotten stuck playing the nerd character. One of the scenes shown is the setup for the prom, where the announcer feels the need to clarify that only male-female couples are allowed at the dance, with the main character mocking the nerd character with an "guess you're out of luck". That Mikey himself actually is secretly gay didnt help matters.
- An episode of The Cleveland Show has Junior, after getting a makeover, being mistaken by a lesbian schoolmate for a girl, who makes him her date to make a statement at the prom.
- Many Real Life schools have a Double Standard in place. Straight-presenting girls going together isn't a big deal, and it's not uncommon to see two or more girls dancing together even during slow, romantic songs. However, if a girl is openly lesbian or bisexual, it's likely she won't be allowed to attend with another girl or dance with one. If it's a boy, he'll likely be prohibited from both regardless of his sexuality.
- A common Real Life solution to this problem is for LGBT community centers or similar organizations to throw 'Queer Prom' or 'Anti-Prom' so those kids have a safe space.
- It isn't uncommon for schools to sell discount tickets for couples - provided those couples consist of one boy and one girl.
- Though gay and bi kids (as well as single straight kids) will often circumvent this by bringing an opposite-sex friend with them to buy the tickets, and then showing up with their real date (or lack thereof) on the big night.