Like a lot of other high school juniors and seniors, 17-year-old Paula Goodgame has spent the past few weeks getting ready for prom. At her high school — a Catholic school in St. Petersburg, Florida — both juniors and seniors are invited to attend. So Goodgame, being a junior, naturally invited her girlfriend to be her date, just like any other student would. Only this wasn’t totally cool with her school.
In a tweet posted Wednesday that’s since gone viral, Goodgame shared a bit of bad and disappointing news: her school wouldn’t allow her to bring a same-sex date with her to prom.
As reported by Buzzfeed, Goodgame has been with her girlfriend, Anjali Persad, for four months, and the two are very happy together. Persad goes to a nearby private school and isn’t a student at St. Petersburg Catholic High School, where Goodgame is a junior. According to the prom policies posted on the SPCHS website, students hoping to bring a date from another school must submit a “Prom Guest Request Form” with signatures and photo ID.
Apparently, Goodgame’s prom guest request didn’t sit well with the school, which prompted her to seek guidance from the counselor who further clarified same-sex dates “are not allowed.” As a new student, Goodgame reportedly wasn’t aware that the school’s official prom guidelines stipulate guests must be “of the opposite gender.”
“I just transferred here and I don’t exactly have too many friends, and that — added on with the social anxiety of prom — makes me feel like prom would be awkward for me,” Goodgame said in an email to Buzzfeed. “Because of that and news I heard from my friend, I was asking for confirmation if I could bring my girlfriend to prom. That way I could have a familiar face in the crowd and be with my date.”
But it looks like Goodgame won’t be able to bring the familiar face she wanted with her to prom, unless the school were to change its mind at the last minute. The school hasn’t replied to a comment request from Buzzfeed, but you’d think with all the pressure now from Goodgame’s tweet and the people pledging to email the school on her behalf, they might rethink their outdated policy.
“If she can’t go to my prom, then that prom is not worth going to,” Goodgame told Buzzfeed. “You’re supposed to have that whole ‘magical’ night with someoen special, ya know? It wouldn’t be worth it without her.”
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