A gay Florida teenager banned from attending his own high school prom instead attended a gay prom, and was named prom queen -- the fulfillment of his dream. But with ecstasy comes agony -- his parents have kicked him out of their house.
Last month Omar Bonilla ran for prom queen at his school in Pembroke Pines. He finished in the top three. But school officials said they "feared for his safety" if he attended the prom in drag as his alter ego Allison Rodriguez. They told him he couldn't wear his favorite blue sequin dress.
Then on Thursday the school went one step further, suspending Bonilla from school for two days for, of all things, parking in a visitor's spot. The suspension meant he couldn't attend Saturday's prom.
Bonilla's friends went to the media, and he was promptly invited to the Pridelines Youth Services gay prom. "He was extremely excited,'' Pridelines publicist Richard Murry said. "He even said that getting to go to a gay prom was even better than getting to go to his own high school prom. He was really excited about his wearing his dress, and not just for the paper.''
And wear that dress Bonilla did, and was named queen on the dance.
"I was really happy about it. I always wanted to win for prom queen,'' Bonilla said. ``I felt accepted in many ways. People were very touched by what I have done. 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.''
However, all of the surrounding publicity apparently took a toll on Bonilla's parents. He said the day after the prom, they demanded his house keys and turned him out.
"I got all my belongings in the car,'' he said.
Bonilla said he would stay with friends in the short term, and hopefully he can stay with relatives on a more permanent basis.
Photo courtesy Miami Herald