FFSS stu­dents or­ga­nize gay-friendly prom

The Lindsay Post - - LOCAL NEWS - DAVE FLA­HERTY Lind­say Post Re­porter dave.fla­herty@sun­media.ca.

For many teenagers, prom night can be con­sid­ered one of the great­est nights of their high school lives.

How­ever, for many gay and les­bian stu­dents, the idea of bring­ing their same-sex date to prom may con­jure up fears of judge­ment and os­tra­ciza­tion.

"Peo­ple don't nec­es­sar­ily feel safe," said Travis Fo­ley, a staff ad­vi­sor with the Fenelon Falls Sec­ondary School ( FFSS) Gay Straight Al­liance ( GSA).

Be­cause of this, the FFSS GSA or­ga­nized a spe­cial prom on Fri­day, June 7, where gay and les­bian stu­dents were en­cour­aged to bring their dates.

Fo­ley said the prom was open to stu­dents from all sec­ondary schools in the Tril­lium Lakelands Dis­trict School Board.

Straight stu­dents sup­port­ing their cause, or "al­lies" as Fo­ley said they are called by GSA mem­bers, were wel­come as well.

He said they were ex­pect­ing more than 100 stu­dents.

Mem­bers of the school's GSA took care of plan­ning the event.

"They've done a great amount of the leg work," Fo­ley said, adding there were many staff mem­bers who were in­ter­ested in help­ing out as well.

"We al­most had to turn peo­ple away," he said.

Fo­ley said the goal is to have this event for pos­si­bly an­other year and then af­ter­wards, stu­dents would hope­fully feel con­fi­dent to take their dates to reg­u­larly sched­uled proms.

Ac­cord­ing to Fo­ley, this event was also a way to pro­mote the GSA and its val­ues and goals.

"I think we've been mak­ing a some head­way."

With GSAs be­ing a hot topic of dis­cus­sion in re­cent months, Fo­ley said he feels "no pub­lic­ity is bad pub­lic­ity" and that it "gets con­ver­sa­tions started."

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