EXCLUSIVE: Teen says Queens school won’t allow her to bring transgender boyfriend to prom

MASPETH, Queens (PIX11) — A New York high school senior said her private school is barring her from taking her transgender boyfriend to prom.

“Everybody should be able to go,” said Anais Celini, a senior at Martin Luther High School in Maspeth, Queens. “It’s something that everybody should be able to have those memories of and talk about years later.”

Celini is dating Nathaniel Baez, who is transgender and currently going through transition. The teen said she’s heartbroken because she can’t do what she’s always dreamed of doing: taking her love to the senior prom.

“The school said to me that his transition is unconventional and it’s not what he feels beneficial to letting him come to prom,” Celini told PIX11 News exclusively.

prom

Anias Celini said her Queens private school won’t let her take her boyfriend, Nathaniel Baez, to prom because he is transgender.

Baez said he feels bad for his girlfriend.

“It’s hard because I really wanted her to be able to go to prom with her friends and me, as well,” Baez said. “It is one of the stepping stones in high school.”

PIX11 News reached out to the school  several times, and was told by an administrator that based on student privacy, the school declined to comment.

The couple is hoping for a change of heart, but they’re not optimistic.

“I don’t think they’re going to say yes anymore,” Celini said, adding that she won’t ask the school again for permission to take Baez as her date.

Baez said even if they’re barred from the May 22 dance, he will plan his own private prom weekend for his girlfriend.

23 comments

  • David Broadnax

    Everybody do not feel the same way as these to young Ladies. We are talking about a Lutheran High School. Regardless what the state deems as legal, morally both are two Woman. I agree with the High decimation.

    • High Decimation

      Geez. With such a clear, concise, and logical argument like that, who wouldn't agree with you?

    • Alum2001

      Poor argument. What if the student wanted to take her mother or sister? "both are two Woman"… is that also immoral? For the record, the school has allowed same-sex dates to Proms in the past. I don't think its moral for you to use the Lutheran argument as a tool for discrimination. Whats next? Segregated Proms under free religious liberty?

  • Anon

    Speaking as a former student of the school and a classmate of Angelica (Nathaniel)-from my understanding it was not a sexuality thing. Ms. Baez was asked to not come back going into Senior year because of disciplinary issues. If they didn’t think ML was the right fit for her in a class setting because she failed to follow their basic rules-which they give each student a contract to make them aware of their rules-why would they let her attend a prom.

    • Weston

      You are a disgusting, disrespectful pig for 1) disclosing his birth name and 2) refusal to acknowledge his gender identity. Secondly, gender identity is NOT related to sexuality in the least. Of course, if you knew anything about transgender individuals you would already know this. You just posted information he probably wants kept private, but I doubt this is true considering the source is an "anonymous" internet post. Might want to watch what you say, especially if you're perpetuating falsehoods. You could find yourself slapped with one heck of a libel/defamation of character lawsuit.

  • brittany

    Come to the rainbow ball in Stamford, CT. It is an alternative prom for LGBTQA who don’t feel accepted at their own school’s prom.

    • Alum 2001

      I applaud the initiative, but there shouldn't be an alternate prom! Lets recall the alternate water fountains, alternate bus seating, alternate etc…, for "colored" people.

  • Damaris

    This school is desrespecting Martin Luther kings name by discriminating against a lesbian couple. Mr. King wanted equal treatment for everyone no matter race, color, religion, sexual orientation, etc……. how can we they be such hypocrites when probably they watch porn secretly and jerk off to all lesbian scenes…… such narrow minded people. Boycott the prom and the school as well, everyone should take their kids out of that school. It's a bad example for all kids

    • A Lutheran

      Please get your facts straight.

      This school is NOT named after King and therefore is NOT disrespecting his name.

      It is named, as was King, after the 16th century German reformer Martin Luther who is oft credited with starting the Protestant Reformation by his act of nailing the 95 Theses on the door of All Saints' Church in Wittenberg, Saxony and his subsequent refusal to recant the criticism and call for reform of the church contained therein.

      The modern Lutheran church is his living legacy.

  • iluminatinyc

    Um, first, the school is named for the theologian, not the civil rights leader, thanks. :)

    As an alumnus (MLHS Class of 1997), the situation is being handled poorly at best. If it was a disciplinary issue, it should have been stated from jump. The school is looking like fools as is. Now, I do believe the school has the legal right to ban someone from the prom, but just because something is legal doesn't mean it's moral. Also, considering that this school has allowed same-sex couples, pregnant girls and men who were just marginally on the right side of a statutory rape case to show up at prom, they just look silly right now. All the prayers in the beginning can't Whitewash what has been a major black eye for the old alma mater. What a mess!

    • Anon

      If it is because of disciplinary action they are not at liberty to state this because that would be violating the students privacy.

      • A nun

        I commend the school for not violating the student's privacy in this situation which the student herself has clearly a vested interest in keeping private. This of course is displayed by the television news interview that the student voluntarily took part in.

  • anon

    Do we not remember the whole thing with hate the sin love the sinner? Do we also not remember the Spanish teacher having a sexual relationship with a student, a female student meaning it was a lesbian sexual relationship, not only in the school building but outside the premise as well? It blows my mind. The school is already hurting admissions wise and this is most certainly not going to help. I wouldn’t want my child going there. The complete opposite of a Christian environment. You’re all a bunch of hypocrites.

    • Alum2001

      Oh I definitely remember the teacher who had the lesbian relationship with her student! It was all over the news! And from what I recall, many faculty members and school officials knew about it and only pursued it when it became wildly public outside of the school. The school's credibility is going down the drain… and now with possible discriminatory actions?

  • Alum2001

    I try to give the benefit of doubt that sometimes the media can sensationalize events. However, the school should give some kind of statement. Withholding information due to "privacy" reasons is one thing but it puts the school under scrutiny. I do recall a same-sex couple at the junior prom and senior prom, yearsss ago. This student has agreed to make her story public… in doing so it appears that the school is being discriminatory. The school can dictate who the Prom date should be under reasonable considerations. Reasonable considerations should not include religious beliefs, regardless if the school if of Lutheran faith. Now, if the Prom date was a former student who failed out etc… I still think that it is not a reason to withhold the current students' Prom date. The Prom agreement, possibly in the student handbook? should be made public or researched further. Until then, this case should be legally pursued, especially since there has been recent legal precedents (case in Mississippi). Regardless of the outcome, the school has handled this extremely poorly and is another reason why I personally do not provide any alumni contributions.

  • Michelle Vella

    Interesting… My sin , who is gay, attended prom with his boyfriend and best female friend at Martin Luther High School 4 years ago. We were comfortable with the outcome. I think it was A bit of font ask , don’t tell but that was fine. After all, it was about attending prom with your favorite person and they had a great time.

  • Edward Eddie

    It's a private religious school. The issue here is not bias it's religion. Why does the LGBT community constantly constantly try to change a religion? The religion sees homosexuality as a sin, that is their religion. If you do not like it then don't believe in that religion, don't go to that school. it's a simple as that.

  • Jonny

    You signed up for a CHRISTIAN Private School. Not just a privates school. If this were a private school than they would have a great case. But it is a Christian school where the school is built off of biblical values. If you don't like those values then I'm sure there are plenty of other schools you can choose in NYC that do not have a problem or care about your way's of life!

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