Oakdale Debuts Gender Neutral Homecoming Court

Sophomores+Mckenzie+Mollica+%28Left%29+and+Alexandra+Reed+%28Right%29+find+out+they+have+won+Sophomore+Homecoming+Court%0A

Rhiannon Evans

Sophomores Mckenzie Mollica (Left) and Alexandra Reed (Right) find out they have won Sophomore Homecoming Court

Nicole Akumatey, Editor

This year when Oakdale High School students nominated their choices for Homecoming court, many noticed the absence of something they would normally expect: an option to nominate a ‘king’ and ‘queen’. Instead they could nominate any two students for their grade level, and the form used genderless terms like Royalty and Court. In recent years we have seen a rise in academic institutions wanting to be more inclusive and respectful of students and their gender identities.

 

Natalie Johnson, a freshman at OHS, recalled, “I remember in SAGA (Sexuality and Gender Alliance) we talked about it, and a lot of kids were happy about it. King and queen isn’t very gender accepting, because there are people that don’t identify as either, people that identify as both.” 

 

Johnson continues on to say: “This feels like progress.”

 

Avery Meeler, a senior at OHS and the President of the SAGA club here at Oakdale, states “I use they/them pronouns, if someone like me wanted to be on the HoCo court it might be hard for them to feel comfortable with the king and queen label.” 

 

In recent years OHS has put in an effort to be more inclusive to LGBTQ+ students, but Meeler and Johson both agree that Oakdale can do more to be inclusive to LGBTQ+ students at OHS. 

 

Johnson mentioned an instance when a student was picked on, simply because other students didn’t think he was straight. “They were calling him all sorts of slurs, and if I had known I would’ve said something. I just know that someone was being buillied because [classmates] thought he was queer.” 

 

Meeler states, ”Compared to previous years Oakdale has done a lot better at being more inclusive. I think there are things that could be done more. I think they should work on bullying.” 

 

Meeler suggested to resolve this problem Oakdale can “be more open about anti LGBTQ harrasment, which allows students to be comfortable being out.”

 

Johnson advised that we should educate other students about LBGTQ+ history: “A lot of people may not be entirely homophobic, but bi-phobic, and transphobic. And if we started touching on that and other people who deal with these things it might help people realise what is happening to the [LGBTQ] Community. “

 

This year’s Homecoming Court is:

9th: Alex Peoples, Bryce Hamlorecht

10th: Mckenzie Mollica, Alexandra Reed

11th: Olivia Leonard, Evan Shultz

12th: Gracie Lee, Joseph Pippin

This month is LGBTQ history Month! Here are some resources to help educate you on LGBTQ+ history.