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Greg In Hollywood Interview: Georgia teen Derrick Martin talks on taking boyfriend to prom, getting kicked out of house

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Derrick Martin got me thinking about my prom way back in the 80s. I asked the cutest girl I knew to go with me and she said “yes.” She wore a sexy red dress and I had a white tuxedo with little red details on the ruffles of the shirt (yes, ruffles!).

She was my girlfriend for awhile then after the prom, she broke up with me. I was pissed but deep down, I didn’t care. I was gay! But there was no way I could’ve taken who I really wanted to take without causing a riot.

Wouldn’t have even considered it.

Today, most kids still don’t – especially kids who live in states like Georgia. But DerrickĀ  Martin wanted to take his boyfriend, Richard Goodman, to his prom last month and did so despite a wave of controversy. His determination and the surrounding publicity got him kicked out of his house by his parents.

When I spoke with Derrick on Saturday at the Life Out Loud event in Hollywood where he was honored for his courage, I found him to be so humble and decent and mature far beyond his years.

Here is our interview:

Q. How was was the prom?

A. “It was a lot of fun.”

Q. And was it worth it all?

A. “Definitely.”

Q. People have come to feel protective of you and we want to know where you are living?

A. “Right now, I’m in between places. I’m half living with [boyfriend Richard Goodman] and half living with a really, really close friend of mine. I’m just playing it by ear. I haven’t spoken to my parents in awhile.”

Q. What are your plans now?

A. “In the fall I’ll be going to Georgia Southern University to study pre-law under a full scholarship so that kind of saved me. It includes one year of housing.”

Q. What is the status of the relationship with your parents?

A. “I think the best thing is time. Give them time to repair themselves and think about who they are and what’s going on in their lives. Just to overcome any obstacles that they’ve had because of all this media. Then once it all calms down maybe we’ll have a chance to sit down. It was mainly the media [attention] that really upset them.”

Q. Will he continue with your LGBT advocacy?

A. “Definitely. I’ll march on any street in any town, whatever I have to do.”

Q. How do you feel about all the attention you’ve been getting?

A. “I just think the LGBT community is such a great family. Everyone just looks out for everybody. People I don’t even know are asking, ‘Are you okay? Do you need anything? Do you need a house? Do you need money?”

Q. Will you and Richard still be able to see each other?

A.Yes, he’s going to the same college (laughs).

Dm1

FILE UNDER: Controversy

Comments

(All comments are reviewed before being published, and I review submissions several times per day.)

9 Remarks

  1. Derrick has both maturity and compassion beyond his years. He’s certainly exhibiting a lot more understanding for his parents than they deserve, imo.

  2. June 15th, 2010 at 3:46 am
    Philip Wester says:

    How are we supposed to convince the bigots we’re all the same as them if all of our poster children are cute/hot/sexy young people? :D

    Anyway, they’re adorable and Derrick’s a future super-gay-activist in the making. Good for them!

  3. MY HEROES!!!!!!!

  4. Derrick is a hero of mine! Waaaaayyy back in 1979 when I went to my senior prom with my best girl/friend, I secretly wished I could have taken my “secret” boyfriend. I wish Derrick all the best life has to offer.

  5. June 16th, 2010 at 3:15 pm
    David Mudkips says:

    Bravo to Derrick and Richard! I’m really proud of them… and (to be honest) a little jealous. I wish I could have taken my boyfriend to a prom, but the repercussions of doing so back when I was their age would have been a lot more severe.

    They’re both brave — and standing on the shoulders of all of the other fearless members of the LGBT community that have tirelessly worked over decades to make this possible.

    This gives me hope, as I’m sure it gives hope to all of the kids that will follow in their footsteps.

    Good job, guys!

  6. A wonderful young man. I wish him the best and glad he is going into law.

  7. These two boys have such courage and strength. The world needs more of them! I’m a bit older than them – came out in 1985 – but when I told my parents that I was gay I got a similar response. I’d already moved out but I was told that I was no longer welcome to come home. My father and I patched things up several years ago but it took my mom a lot longer. I saw he last summer at my brother’s house and it was the first time she met my partner of 20+ years! In the end I was true to myself and I don’t think I could have done it any other way.

    Stay strong Derrick and Richard!

  8. It wasn’t bravery to ask his school if he could bring his boyfriend to his prom. I agree with what Derrick said/done, he did what felt right.

    Many of us, gays and straights alike live in shadow of never doing what our heart is telling us to do. Derrick heard and followed his feelings.

    Best regards Derrick and Richard.

    -Greg

  9. I’m not sure why my compliment I wrote here yesterday was not published but I’m not going to toss a hissy fit over it.

    In any rate, I do still give my sincere best regards to Derrick and Richard.

    -Greg

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