Spirit commission pilots genderless Homecoming court

September 9, 2021 — by Ariel Zhou and Sanjoli Gupta

The school is changing its customary Homecoming court elections of a Homecoming king and queen to a genderless process, honoring two students of any gender as Homecoming monarchs and, in the case of princes and princesses, Homecoming royalties. 

Some students interviewed by The Falcon said they agree that this change will promote a more inclusive and open environment.

“We always wanted to make Homecoming genderless,” spirit commissioner Sadaf Sobhani said. “But it never happened because there’s so much conflict within the student body saying that they wanted the labels of princesses, princes, kings and queens.”

This year, however, the ASB pushed through with the shift because, given the drastic changes made throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, students should be expectant of a non-traditional school year, she said. Though having Homecoming kings and queens is a tradition, ASB wanted to change the court to be more inclusive for future students. 

“I know in the past, some people were hesitant to nominate other people because of them being afraid to match with another partner that they’re not comfortable with, so this new rule makes people more comfortable,” Sobhani said. “I feel this is better because it’s more inclusive to our community.”

The ASB went through many adjustments making this change, including acquiring new sashes that say Homecoming royalty instead of king and queen.  

“When we presented our idea to the student body, they were a little upset because it was a tradition to have kings and queens,” Sobhani said. “But when we told them that we wanted to improve for the future classes, they were understanding.”

Students who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community are excited about this new change. 

“We need to be more inclusive, and when everything is really gendered, it makes those who either don’t have a specified gender —  anyone who isn’t under the binary gender spectrum — feel uncomfortable,” said junior Dragon Neal, who uses they/them pronouns. 

Sophomore Sage Szenda, who uses he/they pronouns, said he appreciates the school evolving and changing with the rest of the world.

 “It’s important because there are a lot of people who are now realizing how the LGBTQ+ community affects people,” he said. “Having your sexuality or your gender is like having a race that you’re born with. You’re not allowed to change it, and if you try to, it’s going to make you extremely miserable.”

Szenda said that he knows there are some people who may not be as aware of the LGBTQ+ community as others, and being able to expose the student body to this community makes it easier for the students to accept people. 

He said he believes that the ability to be recognized as your preferred gender is extremely validating for people who are part of the LGBTQ+ community.

“Modifying this long-standing rule of gender-based kings and queens allows the school to change with the rest of the world and include diversity within students,” Szenda said.

 

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