An American secondary school has crowned two female students â€œhomecoming royaltyâ€, in a pioneering gender-neutral move.
It is customary in US schools for a â€œprom queenâ€ and â€œprom kingâ€ to be crowned during the annual â€œhomecomingâ€ dance, an event which typically takes place in late September or early October. The winners are nominated by the student body.
But Milford High School in Ohio turned the tradition on its head.
In a Facebook post, the academic body shared how it had changed the terminology in order to â€œreflect the voice of Milfordâ€™s student body and to ensure all students have the opportunity to feel included.â€
â€œChoosing students for Homecoming Court is a long-standing tradition that has always been completely decided by student votes, and this year is no different,â€ said Nancy House, the schoolâ€™s superintendent (a term for the manager in charge of a number of public schools or a school district).
â€œCongratulations to the 14 students who were picked by their peers to represent their class as Homecoming Royalty and Court.â€
The post explains that the decision came about after a number of students nominated a female student in the â€œprom kingâ€ category, and the same student ultimately received the most votes.
â€œThe selection of our Homecoming Royalty is an opportunity for our students to have their voice heard. I fully support the voice and choice demonstrated by our students in selecting this yearâ€™s Homecoming Royaltyâ€ said Josh Kauffman, the schoolâ€™s principal (the American term for â€œheadmasterâ€) later down in the post.
This is just one example of an increasing movement towards gender inclusivity in western society.
Last month, Barbie manufacturerÂ Mattel launched its first gender-inclusive toy line.
And, over the summer, the Welsh government announced it would be making allÂ school uniforms in Wales gender-neutral, a move which will come into effect from 1 September.