Omar Bonilla wanted to go to prom. As prom queen. Dressed in drag. Big deal, you say? Not so much.
See, last month Omar Bonilla actually ran for prom queen of Flanagan High School in Pembroke Pines, Florida, and was one of the top three vote-getters. But then school officials told Omar that he couldn't attend prom as his drag persona, Allison Rodriguez, because they were worried for his safety. Sounds plausible, I guess, but Omar wasn't buying it, and told them he would attend anyway, wearing his favorite blue sequin gown to the prom.
The day before prom, school officials at Flanagan suspended Omar Bonilla for two days after he parked in a visitor spot, effectively barring him from Friday night's prom. Omar, however, wasn't to be deterred.
As Allison Rodriguez, Omar Bonilla, was invited to the Pridelines Youth Services gay prom Saturday night at Florida International University, along with 250 other youths from Miami-Dade and Broward counties, and won the prom queen title.
"I was really happy about it. I always wanted to win for prom queen,'' Omar Bonilla said. "I felt accepted in many ways....I feel courageous. My message is to be true to yourself and don't be scared of what people say to you. Don't be scared to be open and show your true colors. Don't care what people say, and be strong.''
It sounds like a win-win, for non-discrimination, for LGBTQ students, and for Omar Bonilla, if it weren't for the fact that the conflict with school officials and the resulting publicity caused his parents to ask him to leave their home.
All Omar Bonilla wanted was to go to prom, dressed in the type of drag in which he felt comfortable; he wanted a title, a little recognition, and some fun.
Why is that too much to ask?