Rally planned to back gay Bleckley student

jhubbard@macon.comApril 8, 2010 

A rally is scheduled Friday near Macon City Hall to support a gay Bleckley County High School senior who is taking his boyfriend to the prom. The rally also aims to show support for other gay residents living in Middle Georgia who may face unequal treatment.

The Macon chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays is holding the “rally for equality” at 6 p.m.

The senior, Derrick Martin, as well as Deonna Sage, a Macon entertainer who performs in drag, plan to attend.

The rally is in response to two instances of anti-gay expression in Middle Georgia, said Edric Floyd, co-president of the PFLAG Macon chapter.

While the Bleckley County school system is allowing Martin to bring his boyfriend as his date to the April 17 prom, recent publicity about the school’s decision resulted in Martin being kicked out of his home as well as an opposition rally by a few of his classmates in Cochran.

Sage, who performed during the recent Cherry Blossom Festival fashion show, faced harassment from a few people fueled by a former local radio talk show host, Floyd said.

“This is an opportunity to band together in support of our community and both of our members who faced public opposition for being who they are,” he said.

“The community reaction to Derrick Martin bringing his boyfriend as his date to the prom along with the negative reaction to Deonna Sage in the fashion show are recent examples that many in Middle Georgia don’t embrace equality when it comes to someone being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered.”

“Middle Georgia has a lot of work to do to embrace equality for all of its citizens,” Floyd said.

When contacted Wednesday, Martin said he is planning to attend the Friday rally but did not comment further.

Depending on the size of the crowd, the rally will be held in or near Rosa Parks Square, which is across the street from City Hall.

To contact writer Julie Hubbard, call 744-4331.