Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Homecoming King Stripped of Crown

Despite the title of the post, this is actually more of a happy story than not. Oak Reed is a high school senior in Muskegon, Michigan, who was elected homecoming king by his classmates, by a considerable margin. The principal refused to give him the title, however, because Oak is transgender. The assistant superintendant supports the principal's decision, saying "the ballot gave two choices: Vote for a boy for king and a girl for queen."

All right, so the adults in authority seem to have their heads firmly inserted somewhere dark and moist, but the cool thing about this story is that Oak's classmates aren't just rolling over. It's too late to reverse the decision -- the homecoming king and queen have already been crowned -- but the students of Mona Shores High School are rallying in support of Oak, with a Facebook page (almost 7300 members from all over the world) and a compaign to wear T-shirts saying "Oak is my King" on 1 October. The shirts are being sold as a fundraiser, to help pay for Oak's reassignment surgery, which he plans to start after he turns eighteen.

Despite my disappointment with the school authorities, I find this story wonderfully encouraging from the POV of optimism for the future. In a world (and a country) where GLBT teens are still regularly harassed, beaten, murdered or driven to suicide because of who they are, it's awesome to see all these other teenagers rallying around a transgender classmate. Go Mona Shores!

Thanks to Cindy Potts for sharing the link.



Charles Gramlich said...

Sometimes a little hope peaks through. Great to hear of Oak being supported by his peers.

Angie said...

Charles -- definitely some hope. [nodnod] There are some awesome kids at that school.