An Oregon high school has ousted its homecoming king and queen in favor of more inclusive royalty—and it’s not the first
A high school in southern Oregon has ousted its homecoming royalty.
Breaking a decades-long tradition, Ashland High School will not crown a king and queen during its annual homecoming football game on Friday, opting instead to honor three standout seniors—known as “Grizzly Royalty”—regardless of their gender and sexual orientation. The decision, which received strong support from the school’s student body and administration, remains an uncommon one among high schools, and some fear a potential backlash.
“Our ultimate goal is not to cause controversy or strife,” student body co-president Jackson Richmond announced in a video published to the school’s online newspaper this week, “but instead to promote equality and acceptance in our school and community, and give more depth to a long-standing tradition.”
In interviews with local media, fellow co-president Brielle Preskenis echoed the inclusive message that the school hopes to promote.
“It used to be that anyone who was gender-neutral or transgender was kind of left in this limbo and they couldn’t identify,” she told the Medford Mail Tribune. “So now it’s open to everyone.”
While a growing number of colleges and universities across the country continue to upend their homecoming king and queen traditions, high schools have been less inclined to do so (though two schools this month have crowned a transgender homecoming king and queen) . One notable exception is Mona Shores High School in Michigan, which switched to a gender-neutral homecoming and prom in 2011 after officials refused to let a transgender teen be homecoming king.
Ashland High hopes other high schools will follow suit.
“It is of utmost importance that we take a leadership role in our county, state and country by moving past the old traditions that come with homecoming and create a path with equity,” Richmond says.
Source: Shane Dixon Kavanaugh for Vocativ