Queen without a Castle
Omar Bonilla’s dream of being prom queen came true, but not exactly as planned — and with a price. He no longer can live at home, he says. [via the Miami Herald]
Dressed in his drag persona as Allison Rodriguez, Bonilla became queen of the Pridelines Youth Services gay prom at Florida International University’s Biscayne Bay Campus. “I was really happy about it. I always wanted to win for prom queen,” Bonilla said Sunday. “I felt accepted in many ways. People were very touched by what I have done, I feel courageous.”
Last month, Bonilla ran for prom queen at Flanagan High in Pembroke Pines. After coming in among the top three vote-getters, school officials told the 19-year-old they worried for his safety and that he couldn’t wear a blue sequin gown to the prom. Flanagan on Thursday suspended Bonilla for two days after he parked in a visitor spot, effectively barring him from Friday’s prom.
Bonilla’s friends contacted the media and his story made headlines in print, TV and online. Saturday morning, Pridelines publicist Richard Murry invited Bonilla to the gay prom. “He was extremely excited,” 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 wearing his dress, and not just for the paper.” Dressed in drag, Bonilla attended the Pridelines party — along with 250 other youths from Miami-Dade and Broward counties — and won the prom queen title. “My message is to be true to yourself and don’t be scared of what people say to you,” Bonilla said. “Don’t be scared to be open and show your true colours. Don’t care what people say, and be strong.”
The school flap and resulting publicity helped Bonilla achieve his dream, but it also cost him — his parents told him to turn in his keys and leave home. “I got all my belongings in the car,” he said. Bonilla said he would stay with friends overnight and that he hoped to live with relatives.