And the Crown Goes To...
BY Julie Bolcer
June 29 2009 12:00 AM ET
Deoine, who plans a career in social work helping teenagers, hopes their honor lays the groundwork for subsequent graduating classes at the South Bronx school.
"I think now, for other gay people who might go to my school, they will have a chance at getting in the yearbook, since we were the first," she said.
The pair, who met in a 10th grade class and essentially went through the coming out process together, say their unique relationship has educated their classmates about gay and lesbian issues. No gay student organization exists at the school, although they describe the climate and teachers as generally supportive.
"Before when we started going out, everybody would look at us, like, 'What's wrong with them?'" says Vikky. "But then from 11th grade, everybody started getting comfortable."
Their respective home lives in the Bronx offer a more mixed picture.
Deoine explains that having a gay brother among her five siblings means her family is fairly "understanding" and "open-minded."
Vikky, on the other hand, lives with her two brothers and grandmother, a devout Catholic whose negative opinions toward gay and lesbian people make Vikky feel apprehensive about introducing Deoine as her girlfriend. She wondered what her grandmother thought when Deoine arrived holding flowers on prom night.
"My brothers told me that they know already, they were really happy for me. But I'm scared to face it, I guess," she said.