Last week, my girlfriend and I watched The Prom on Netflix.
I adored it and have watched it many times since. It's the rainbow celebration we all needed growing up. I haven’t seen a live production of this show, but I would love to, because it is simply bloody joyous.
It makes me so happy to know that young people who are part of the LGBTQI+ community might see themselves represented on-screen in a rom-com musical and realise that even if the people or ideas in their everyday lives don’t tell them, they are perfect the way they are.
Selfishly, it also makes me a little sad for my 14-year-old, musical theatre-loving self who would have felt so seen by this story and might have had the courage to come out and be truly happy and herself, years before she would.
Watch the trailer for Netflix's The Prom. Post continues below.
I’m 25. My generation has it a lot better than those who came before us, that’s true. But it’s still nowhere near great though.
Allow me to tell you a little story about 14-year-old Lilli…
I had a best friend; she lived with my family for a period and we became even closer. One night we were making food in the kitchen together and had a fun night and fell into a food coma. The next day at school, my “best friend” told the rest of our friend group that she thought I was a lesbian and was hitting on her because I was “too close” while we were cooking. They all confronted me and asked if I was gay. I, of course, denied it. Me, gay? Pfft. Ew! Girls are gross, I liked boys, I protested.
Despite my protests, they were truly sh*tty teenagers to me for a while. The funny part is, I didn’t even have a crush on her but that was the moment I knew... I knew if I told my friends how confused I was feeling - that I didn't have a crush on that friend I’d been texting outside of school, but I did have a crush on his girlfriend - they wouldn’t support me and things would not be okay.