Learsi Ferrer and Miranda Melanson had dated for more than four years, and were excited to attend the senior prom together.
There was just one problem. The two didn’t want to compete with each other for the honor of prom queen.
The stage was set last year, when Melanson asked her class adviser at Somerville High School if gay couples could be allowed on the ballot for prom court. He gave his approval without hesitation.
“It was common sense to us,” said the adviser, Kevin Dua. “These two have been in a loving relationship, and they deserve to represent our class.”
To their surprise, Ferrer and Melanson were elected prom queens. And a few weeks ago, the teenagers took a step toward a repeat performance, becoming the first gay couple on the senior prom court ballot.
In preparation for the big day, they went store to store to find Ferrer the perfect dress.
When Ferrer selected a floor-length black number “she just put it on and I was like ‘we’re getting it,’” Melanson recalled.
Melanson went for a different look, piecing together a look from a few suits and tuxedos.
“It was like a puzzle,” she said.
The night of the prom, the couple got ready separately. Melanson wanted the surprise of seeing Ferrer all dressed up.
“She looked absolutely incredible,” she said.
The prom was held Friday, at the Boston Marriott Hotel’s ballroom in Cambridge. Ferrer wore heels. But Melanson wore flats, and told her girlfriend she would be dancing all night.
“Once I start dancing I’m not going to stop,” she said with a laugh.
Later in the evening, the DJ stopped the music to announce the winners. Melanson figured they didn’t have much of a chance. Then, their names rang out through the ballroom. It was “overwhelming,” Melanson recalled.
After they were crowned, the two girls danced to “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars. The couple didn’t choose the song. But it was perfect.
“It just fit us very well,” Melanson said. “When we were dancing, it felt like nobody else was there.”
As they danced, the 300 students ringing the dance floor sang along.
The couple plan to attend Bunker Hill Community College together next year. Melanson hopes to pursue a career in finance or business, and Ferrer wants to go into nursing.
No matter what comes next, prom was a night to remember. “I’d do it every night if I could,” Melanson said.