Paula Goodgame

Lesbian Couple Banned From Prom, Told “Maybe There’s A Male Friend Who Can Take You”

“If she can’t go to my prom, then that prom is not worth going to.”

A teen has been prohibited from bringing her girlfriend to prom by school administrators, who suggested she find a male date for her girlfriend.

Paula Goodgame, a 17-year-old student at St. Petersburg Catholic High School, found out last week that she would not be allowed to bring Anjali Persad, her girlfriend of four months, to the dance. School policy dictates “escorts must be of the opposite gender.”

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Paula Goodgame

To compound the insult, Goodgame’s guidance counselor suggested she find Persad another chaperone, writing, “If you could have one of your male friends ask her as his date that would probably work.”

Goodgame says this is the first time she’s encountered discrimination since coming to the school four months ago.

“There are other gay people at the school, and a couple of the students there have gay parents,” she told Buzzfeed. No one really expected this to come about, especially me and my friends.”

Since the story has gone viral, thousands of people have offered love and support. “It’s been really amazing watching the LGBT community stick up for each other,” Persad said. “I hope that all other LGBT students in our situation can find courage to stand up for themselves and for others so we can find equality for all.”

Goodgame attended Persad’s prom last weekend, but remains unsure if she’ll go to her own.

“If she can’t go to my prom, then that prom is not worth going to,” she told Buzzfeed. “You’re supposed to have that whole ‘magical’ night with someone special, ya know? It wouldn’t be worth it without her.”

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
@ItsDanAvery