Embattled gay student gets a chat and a $30K college check on 'Ellen'
Constance McMillen, the shy and well-mannered Mississippi lesbian teen who challenged her school's prom policy, on Friday visited Ellen DeGeneres' show, where she received a $30,000 check toward her college education via the website Tonic.
McMillen made waves with the her local school district weeks back when she challenged its boy-girl dance policy -- administrators informed her that if she attended with her girlfriend, donning a tuxedo as she had planned, the couple would be removed from the event.
In the fallout that followed, the big event was canceled, leaving many of McMillan's peers blaming her for the absence of big hair, punch bowls and the Electric Slide. (Also, the ACLU is suing, so today Constance was in court; a private prom is being held, but she's not invited.)
"I'm not going to go to prom and pretend like I'm not gay, so there's no point in me going," McMillen told DeGeneres about her talks with school officials.
Said DeGeneres: "It's always easy to be quiet, especially when you know somebody might tell you 'no' or it's going to cause a scene." The host applauded McMillen, who attended the show with her father, Michael.
Tonic, dedicated to "promoting the good that happens each day around the world," cut the check for $30,000 -- it all started with a gift of $25,000 from a donor who wants to stay anonymous -- and offered the young lady a summer internship at its New York City office.
-- Matt Donnelly
Photo: Constance McMillen, an 18-year-old senior at Itawamba County Agricultural High School, leaves the federal courthouse in Aberdeen, Miss., on March 22 after a hearing regarding the ACLU's preliminary injunction to force the prom at her high school. Credit: Rogelio V. Solis / Associated Press.