6 queer Canadians share their prom stories
The documentary Take Me to Prom features intimate, charming interviews with queer Canadians ranging in age from 17 to 88.
Beyond the individual tales of teenage heartbreak, rebellion and prom dresses, the interviews reveal a story of social change over seven decades. From 88 year-old Alf, who didn't attend prom because, "it was just the way I was," to 17 year-old Caroline, who was proud to be at prom with her date, Take Me To Prom takes us through 70 years of this iconic adolescent milestone.
Take Me to Prom won the 2020 Canadian Screen Award for Best Short Documentary. For more of these stories, stream it now on CBC Gem.
Alf, a quiet wallflower with a secret crush
"I never went to an actual prom. I wasn't a great dancer to begin with...and it was just the way I was."
Fontaine, who only remembers the details of his date's dress
"I took the most beautiful girl to the prom. She was like the cheerleader, all this type of thing...and whoa, her gown really stuck in my mind."
Interviewer: "How would you describe your sexual orientation at that time?"
Fontaine: "Totally straight. I was expelled from high school twice for having sex with a girl in the bathroom."
Marcy skipped her prom for a wild escapade that included an encounter with an angry bull
"It was not unusual for people to be having openly bisexual relationships in our high school. It was just natural. We just did it, it was part of our life.
It's just like smoking dope or dropping acid, or doing any of that stuff. It's hard to explain, but it wasn't a big deal."
Alphonso staged a liberating protest with his friends
"The class president asked if he could bring his boyfriend to the prom, and of course, they told him no...so we came up with this idea to have a protest at the prom."
"I was proud to be part of that group of people, because we didn't just accept the 'no.' At least we did something."
Marc bravely went to court so he could take his boyfriend to prom
"When my prom rolled around, I was actually told by my Catholic high school board that I would not be able to take my boyfriend to the prom because it was against Catholic teaching."
"It turned into this huge media sensation at the national level, and we had to do press conferences.
At one point, my family was getting death threats.
At one point, I needed to have bodyguards.
And we went to court, and eventually, an Ontario Superior Court judge ruled in my favour, and I was able to take my boyfriend to the prom."
Caroline's story captures the complex reality faced by queer youth today
"I was really happy, you know what I mean?"
"Just 'cause looking back, like when I was closeted and when I was in grade nine, I was so scared. You know, I didn't think I would be able to do all these things I'm doing now."
"We were just proud to be with each other."