Posted: September 5, 2010 in Bodies, Gender, Personal
Tags: ,

Didn’t go to mine. I said I didn’t want to when I first heard they existed, and I knew I didn’t want to by the time tickets went on sale.

There were several reasons. One, I didn’t like a lot of my year group (and if anyone who knows who I was back then is reading this, I don’t care). Two, my family couldn’t really afford it; it wasn’t that we were poor, it was more that I preferred to save the money we would have spent on my prom for a time when it would be needed. I didn’t understand why non-prosperous people were spending hundreds on dresses and shoes and suits and hair and limos and tickets when they’d probably be lamenting the lack of money later. I still don’t get it. Three, prom is binary. Boys wear suits, girls wear dresses.

Whenever people found out I wasn’t going, they always said something along the lines of, you can wear the formal dress of the opposite sex to your assigned one. But that’s not what I want. I know, it’s better to have that than situations like that of Constance McMillen – but it was a choice that for me was no choice. And I also didn’t like the fact that that particular one of my reasons for not going was always assumed to be the primary one. The economic one was the primary reason. People – total strangers sometimes – would say, ‘You should go! You can wear what [the opposite sex to my assigned one] wears!’ Erm – excuse me? My gender and presentation is not yours to assume. Just because I don’t conform to gender norms for either gender doesn’t mean you get to decide my preferences based on my companions’ incorrect sexing/gendering of me.

And you know what? I was glad I didn’t go. My friends came back hungry and disappointed, with clothes they’d never wear again and a few photographs. Not worth it, to my mind.

  1. Pieface says:

    So true. I wish I knew at the time just how overrated prom is. Meh. But hey, my prom dress was only £25!

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