It's prom season at high schools across the country, a special time that until recently has been reserved for straight student couples. A sign of growing acceptance and change took place in West Virginia on Saturday night.
The Mussleman High School senior prom was held at The Heritage Hall in Inwood, West Virginia. Among the couples attending were Michael Martin, a Mussleman senior, and his boyfriend Logan Westrope, who attends Hedgesville High School.
Michael was a four-year starter on his school's soccer team, making all-state as a goalie. He is also an all conference swimmer and tennis player. He told his coming out story on Outsports in December, in what was our most-viewed story of 2014. Michael will attend Wilson College in Pennsylvania this fall, major in Environmental Sustainability and play soccer. Logan plays tennis for Hedgesville High School. He will attend Penn State University and major in meteorology. The two have been dating for four months.
"We knew this would be a night to remember," Logan told Outsports. "We walked in, checked in with our tickets, and were off to have fun! At first we were both a little hesitant to hold hands, not knowing how the rest of the student body would react. But after a short while, we were always next to each other and danced together the whole night.
"Some of the slow songs we danced to were 'Stay With Me' (Sam Smith), 'See You Again' (Wiz Khalifa), and 'All of Me' (John Legend). At the moment when the slow songs played, we would just stare into each other's eyes and would think of how lucky we are to have each other.
"We didn't hear any negative comments about Michael and I. A lot of people would come up to us (especially the girls) and say, 'You both are so cute!' or 'You guys look great!' Once we left the prom, I remember Michael saying to me in the car, 'Logan, this is our last prom and I'm so glad I got to spend it with you.' I couldn't have asked for a more perfect night."
Michael asked Logan to the prom in March in the parking lot of Chik-fil-A, where Logan works. "I asked Logan to the prom after his work. I gave him a bag with a chicken sandwich inside and asked, 'Are you a chicken or will you go to the prom with me?' " Michael said. "He easily and gladly said yes."
"Most everyone knows that I am gay and for the most part everyone that I work with there accepts me for who I am," Logan said. "I was extremely nervous to tell my fellow employees but then realized I wasn't afraid to show the real me."
Here are photos from their big prom night. All photos were taken by Logan's mom, Jodi Brotman Westrope:
Michael and Logan get ready for the night
West Virginia cool
Logan's dog, Piper, sees her master and his man off
An avid photographer (his Instagram page has 19,000 followers), Michael takes a shot of Logan at Poor House Farm Park in Martinsburg
Michael adjusts Logan's corsage
Logan returns the favor
No prom these days would be complete without a selfie
The happy couple at the end of the night