After stripping a transgender student of his homecoming king title, a Michigan high school has reconsidered and instituted a gender-neutral prom court. More schools should follow suit.
Mona Shores High School senior Oak Reed was voted king by his classmates, but then stripped of his title because the administration said he was enrolled as a girl. Students protested the decision, and now the school has changed its policy: according to Wood TV, this spring's prom court, and prom and homecoming courts in the future, will be gender-neutral. Says Reed,
I'm so glad that the rules have been changed. All I wanted was a chance for all students to participate and be heard. Now, my classmates and I can just focus on having a great time at our school dance.
Gender-neutral courts are a great idea — all over the country, LGBT teens have been asking for equal participation at prom, homecoming, and similar school spirit ceremonies, and the smartest schools are the ones that do away with the old gender roles around which these ceremonies are often based. Of course, elections for things like prom queen have never exactly been models of inclusivity — but at least at Mona Shores, they'll no longer be a venue for institutionalized homophobia. And maybe getting rid of terms like king, queen, prince, and princess will make prom less about hierarchy and more about, as Reed says, having a great time.
No More King, Queen At Mona Shores High [Wood TV]
Image via Wood TV