Constance McMillan – the brave lesbian teen from rural Mississippi who took on her school when she was not allowed to bring her girlfriend to the prom, will receive $35,000 as part of a settlement of a discrimination lawsuit.
The Itawamba County School District also agreed to follow a nondiscrimination policy as part of the settlement.
“I knew it was a good cause, but sometimes it really got to me. I knew it would change things for others in the future and I kept going and I kept pushing,” Constance said in an interview with NPR earlier today.
Constance, now 18, saw her world turned upside down because of her fight to take her girlfriend to her prom. She prevailed in a legal battle but her school decided to cancel the prom for everyone rather than have a lesbian couple on the dance floor. Then parents threw a private prom and did not include Constance.
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Such a disgrace!
But Constance has become a bonafide LGBT activist and hero through it all appearing on the talk shows of both Ellen DeGeneres and Wanda Sykes, getting an ovation at the GLAAD Media Awards in LA where she introduced honoree Sykes. She was also honored last month by LifeWorks Mentoring and was among the LGBT activist invited to a White House reception last month.
“All the good attention is great, it’s really surreal,” Constance told me at the GLAAD Awards. “It’s hard to imagine that something like this would go this far. It’s really overwhelming and it’s hard to even believe because it’s so amazing.”
“My hometown is horrible – the [lack of] support that they’ve shown is horrible,” she added. “But from across the world, it’s absolutely amazing how much support I’ve had. That’s really what keeps me going.”