Part of the annual tradition at prom is the selection of King or Queen. No other options, just king or queen, male or female. Having kings and queens excludes some students who do not identify as either male or female and makes students feel unaccepted.
It is the year 2017 and it is time we change the tradition to have a gender inclusive homecoming and prom. This is the year for change and all if will take to change this process is love and acceptance for all.
According to the Los Angeles Unified School District mission statement, “Teachers, administrators and staff of the Los Angeles Unified School District believe in the equal worth and dignity of all students and are committed to educate all students to their maximum potential.” This means that all students should also be included in all
campus activities. Believing in equal worth and dignity of all students means that students should not feel excluded from any school activity. This includes homecoming and prom.
Currently, in order to run for prom king or queen you must identify as one specific gender. However, not all students are specifically identified as one gender. It is not fair to force students to choose a gender that does not make them feel comfortable. By having a homecoming or prom king and queen the school is sending a silently message, if you don’t identify as male or female, you don’t belong.
Two years ago, one of our Santee Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club members ran for homecoming king. They were proud that they were one of the first “female” homecoming kings in school history. However, when they were at the awards ceremony, they were given a tiara and flowers instead of a crown for the homecoming king contest they won. This was an innocent mistake, but it was still very uncomfortable for them. Instead of saying anything they just smiled and waved. They kept the embarrassment inside. Situations like this would not occur if we just did away with kings and queens, and had an all inclusive homecoming court instead.
So this year, the Santee GSA club is proposing we make “Santee Royalty,” which is allowing all genders to become either a king or queen. We shouldn’t let a gender define who should be queen and king, we all have the right to choose. Either a boy can be a queen or a girl can be a king. No one should discriminate you. You are free to choose and free of gender norms. Not only LGBT students are welcome to become Santee Royalty, but students of all genders and sexualiies are.
The time for change is now. LAUSD has a long standing policy that all students have, “equal worth and dignity.” It is time that all students have equal worth and dignity at Homecoming and Prom.