Actress Keira Knightley took her best friend, another girl, as her date to prom, but was met with some pretty serious homophobia from teachers, including being called “disgusting” for kissing her date and having their prom pictures secreted away for being inappropriate.
Keira Knightley made the comments in an interview with Variety according to LGBT+ media site Pink News UK. Back in the 1990s and early 2000s when Keira Knightley went to school, Great Britain had a law known as Section 28. This was a “homosexuality propaganda” law (doesn’t give GB a whole lot of leeway to condemn Russia now does it? Kettle, pot, black). Many teachers at the time were unsure of how the law would affect them if they showed any kind of tolerance or support for LGBT+ students.
The actress told Variety that she had just finished up shooting Bend It Like Beckham, and so she and her model best friend, Emily, showed up in… well… not quite formal attire.
I turned up in leather pants and a crop top, and she was a model for a while, and she’d been in Paris shooting something, and she turned up as the boy, so she had a black tie with ripped jeans on, and everybody else was completely dressed up, obviously, in that kind of finery.
Obviously the teachers weren’t pleased with that, and the pair got a scolding. That’s pretty much to be expected, and I’m frankly surprised that the couple were even allowed in. Maybe it’s just because I went to prom in the most TEXAN BEAU & BELLE way possible (we had our senior prom at the Dallas set, no I am not kidding you, the fucking Dallas set) in 2001, and if anyone had shown up like a pair of ruffians, they would have been soundly rebuffed.
That’s all well and good, and Keira Knightley says she and Emily had a wonderful time… until the situation turned homophobic:
We had our picture taken underneath the thing, and she’s kissing me, and we were told that that was disgusting….Our photograph, though, wasn’t allowed — you know when you get up and, I don’t know if this is in America, but you collect all the photographs of prom and you buy whatever ones you want….Ours wasn’t allowed to be displayed on that because it wasn’t appropriate.
Of course it wasn’t, and yeah, we had a very similar photography arrangement. While Texas may not have formally had a Section 28… It was still pretty much Section 28 by any other name. I think our one openly lesbian couple was made up of juniors, and if I recall correctly, they couldn’t attend. Or if they could, they chose not to do so. I think they would have been turned away at the door, especially if one came in “inappropriate” (read masculine) “attire.” Had they been allowed, any kissing would have had them ejected. No pictures would have been taken.