A high school in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Bethesda, Md. has eliminated the traditional roles of homecoming king and queen in favor of a completely gender-neutral “homecoming court.”
Instead of choosing one boy and one girl to be crowned after an upcoming homecoming football game, students at Bethesda-Chevy Chase (B-CC) High School will simply choose two students to be honored regardless of their gender. The winners could be a traditional boy-girl duo, but they could also be two boys, two girls, or even two people who both reject the gender binary entirely. Finalists will have the option to be crowned as a “king,” “queen,” or generically as “royalty.”
Jacob Rains, head of the school’s student government, said it was an opportunity to move beyond an oppressive tradition.
“It provides an opportunity for all students to be involved in something that was exclusionary,” Rains told The Washington Post. “It is really not our job, especially with a gender-neutral and transgender population at B-CC, to tell people that boys have to be kings and girls have to be queens. Who are we to put people into those categories?”
The student government voted 4-1 to back the change, though the student body as a whole didn’t weigh in on the matter.
B-CC isn’t the first high school to change homecoming traditions to reflect modern gender politics. Last year, a Wisconsin high school replaced its king and queen with two homecoming “regent royalty,” drawn from a pool of 20 students who weren’t split up by gender.
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