MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The crowd at Mid-South Pride Festival on Beale Street screamed, “Let Lance dance, let Lance dance.”
“I thought that I’d have my first pride today,” Lance Sanderson said.
Saturday was the same day of the Christian Brothers High School homecoming dance where Sanderson said he was not allowed to bring his date.
“I hope they reconsider and they explore other options,” Sanderson said.
CBHS administration denied Sanderson’s date because he wanted to bring a male student from a different school.
“It’s different when you’re there with your partner, and I hope he gets that opportunity,” Peter Scully said.
Scully is a CBHS alum and one of many marching with Lance to show support.
“Lance was my intern last summer. So I personally support him, and, as a gay person, I think it’s important that all people be treated equally,” Matt Adler said.
After WREG first told viewers about Lance’s story on Thursday, the school posted a letter on its website saying the homecoming event is no longer a “date dance,” which is the case of all other dances at the school.
The school went on to say it has never let boys from other schools attend dances, because male students from other schools could cause problems.
The letter also said school administration started forming a more pro-active gay outreach in August, including adding a gay alumni to the Student Life Commitee of the CBHS Board of Trustees and hearings from staff with gay family members.
“I feel like it’s a lot of ignorance and just a lack of understanding on their part, and the people that do support me — I think they’ve really invested time and kind of thought about the issues,” Sanderson told WREG.
“We want to make sure the school is strong, we want to make sure the school lives up to its ideals and we just want to let Lance dance,” Scully said.
National and local LGBT organizations are open to meeting with the school to create an inclusive policy that falls in line with Catholic beliefs.
The homecoming dance was Saturday between 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.