I went through high school dreading prom. Little appealed about a large gathering that included all the bullies, dancing, being pressured to wear a dress, and so many cishet guys trying to have sex that night.
My friends and I had tried starting a GSA the year before graduation, which had been met with fire and fury from the administration. For context: trans people had zero human rights in Canada at the time, and same-sex marriage wasn’t legal yet. Sexual orientation had been “read into” section 15 of the Charter, but it wasn’t yet translating into much for those of us under 18. I’d pushed the envelop around gender expression and dress code (there were victories along the way!), and paid the price more than once. Come prom season, I was being watched like a hawk by the school administration for the slightest provocation. But I wanted to attend the after party, say goodbye to my friends, etc. so I’d endure prom, make the best of it.
We were confined to dates from our student body. With that constriction in mind, I set out to ask a guy whose significant other wasn’t attending our school to be my date. There were rumours his claims of having a girlfriend were really a beard story. We never so much as saw a picture of her, but given my group of friends consisted of misfits, queers and freaks, we weren’t invested in uncovering the truth. It wouldn’t have made a difference to our group of friends; it would have made a difference to the queerphobic bullies. I asked him out, and after insisting I understand we would not have sex that night, because he was very devoted to his girlfriend, and his not seeming to grasp that the huge smile on my face was relief we were on the same page, albeit for different reasons, he said yes.
We went, we had fun, the after party was amazing, my friend and I said goodbye. We vaguely kept in touch, as much as two dreadful pen pals who attended universities in different time zones could in pre-friendster and myspace days. He came out to me a year later, but I hadn’t gone into the transition piece of my sexuality.
About a year into T, I spot him on my campus. My dysphoria around my deadname and cisnormative language (e.g. ftm) made a disclosure along the lines of “you knew me as deadname, now I’m chosenname” impossible. In the seconds I had before he’d be out of sight, I blurtted “hey <his name>, you get to say you went to prom with a guy after all!” He froze, looked hard at me, blinked a bunch, presumably during which time he did the math. “Oh my gawd!” and we had a great big hug.
To this day, when he introduces me to someone new, he explains “and this is the guy I went to prom with!” as we beam with pride. We come across as having been more daring than we actually were that night, but that’s alright, eh ;p