This Is What Happened When Keira Knightley Took a Girl To Her High School Prom

This Is What Happened When Keira Knightley Took a Girl To Her High School Prom
Source: AP
Source: AP

Keira Knightley kissed a girl at prom, and the photographic evidence was deemed "disgusting." It may be the first and the last time someone objected to the British star kissing anybody. 

The film star, currently promoting her new Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game, opened up about her prom experience in an interview with Vulture last week. Apparently, showing up to prom in "leather pants and a crop top" with a female date, her best friend Emily, didn't go so over so well with prom chaperones — and neither did their kiss. 

She turned up as the boy, so she had a black tie with ripped jeans on, and everybody else was completely dressed up, obviously, in that kind of finery, and then we had our picture taken underneath the thing, and she's kissing me, and we were told that that was disgusting.

Shirking decorum with leather pants and lesbianism — a dangerous combination. Besides being told that their gender-bending attire wasn't appropriate, a school official also told the couple that their photograph wouldn't be displayed.

Regardless, the remark about their kiss coupled with the photo's censoring appears to add up to an act of not-so-subtle homophobia. As Pink News UK pointed out, when the 29-year-old actress was in high school, the United Kingdom had on the books a law forbidding the "promotion" of homosexuality in public — and especially in schools — known as Section 28. Made law in 1988, the rule was overturned in 2003, but advocates claim some schools still maintain anti-gay practices. 

Although no such nationwide law exists in the United States, American teens — both straight and LGBT — continuously find themselves being policed by school officials in big and small ways. For example, last year Missouri high school student Stacy Dawson was told he could not bring his boyfriend to prom because it was barred by the student handbook. That same year, the small town of Sullivan, Indiana, ignited a firestorm of controversy after some community members publicly advocated for a special anti-gay prom. And in an incident that closely mirrors the Knightley debacle, North Carolina student Shafer Rupard was kicked out of her senior year dance this April for wearing red skinny jeans.

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Marcie Bianco

Dr. Marcie Bianco is a Staff Writer at Mic, a Contributing Editor at Curve Magazine, and an adjunct associate professor at Hunter College. She has contributed to AfterEllen, Feministing, The Feminist Wire, The Huffington Post, Lambda Literary, XO Jane, and The Women’s Review of Books. She writes and lectures about ethics, from feminism to race relations. Her current writing projects include a manuscript about lesbian academic affairs and a collection of feminist essays.

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