Constance McMillen is among the women
named in fashion
Women of the Year 2010 issue.
McMillen is the 18-year-old
lesbian student who, with the assistance of the ACLU, sued her
Mississippi school board after officials canceled the annual prom
dance rather than allow her to attend with her girlfriend.
School officials recently agreed to pay the teen $35,000 in damages
plus attorneys' fees and adopt a policy prohibiting discrimination
based on sexual orientation.
The incident catapulted McMillen to
celebrity status. An
ABC Family made-for-television movie based on her story is already in
But McMillen told the AP that it's been
went thorough a lot of harassment and bullying after the lawsuit,”
Rocker Melissa Etheridge, who received
the award in 2005, praised McMillen for her courage.
“She stood up and said, 'This is who
I am,'” Etheridge, who is openly lesbian, told Glamour.
“When someone does that, it changes the world. It gives hope.”
Ted Olson, the lead lawyer challenging
California's gay marriage ban, Proposition 8, also applauded the
“Constance stood up to foolishness
and inequity and irrational unfairness, sending a signal that this
battle should be fought at every level,” he said.
Other women being honored include
singer Fergie, actress Julia Roberts, and gay icon Cher.