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Guest editorial: Prom checklist for same-sex couples: dress, shoes, makeup, and confidence

An editorial on same-sex couples attending prom by Shelby Curran, a 16-year-old lesbian junior at David Posnack Jewish Day School in Davie:

BY SHELBY CURRAN

To any average teen couple, prom is an exciting yet stressful time: countless hours spent at the mall discovering and matching the perfect attire, extra nights spent babysitting to pay for the prom bus, and calling close friends to see which after-prom party they're planning to attend.

However, prom preparations for a same-sex couple may entail more: late night conversations with parents about safety and what to do if someone tries to ridicule you; research on the success stories of other LGBTQ dates to catalyze confidence and pride; or finding a safe party that will be free of intoxicated teenage boys intrigued by a lesbian couple.

Coming from a tolerant community of friends and family, these concerns were not the first things on my mind after being asked to prom by my significant-other of nearly one year. Like any teenage girl, I was elated to turn the corner onto her street as I had done a million times before, only to find a familiar driveway illuminated by candles reading, "PROM?" I stepped out of my car to see her in formal dress holding a flower. In my eyes, we were nothing more than an "average teenage couple." We would be formal-wear shopping, cash-needing, after-partying couple on prom night, just like the rest of the high school. It wasn't until my mother, although extremely supportive, began worrying about what prom at a public high school might hold in store.

My date's school and friends are extremely accepting, and I am confident that we will not have any issues on prom night. However, it is important to be aware and proactive. On prom night, I will saunter in with confidence in who I am. I will surround myself with loyal friends and stay away from those who stare.

My previous experiences and writings have fostered the idea of being original and living out loud. My "prom experience" up to date has offered me another piece of advice to same-sex couples who may be attending proms around the globe: live out loud in this changing world, yet know when it's smart to avoid "stirring the pot."

Although the chances of my prom night being ruined by bullies may be slim, it still remains uncharted territory. So to all of my fellow LGBTQ high schoolers, remember to focus on what matters on your prom night: a good time, regardless of what others may think. Everyone deserves their much anticipated perfect prom night - even a date who may be the only same-sex couple on the dance floor.

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