An American secondary school has crowned two female students “homecoming royalty”, in a pioneering gender-neutral move.
It is customary in US schools for a “prom queen” and “prom king” to be crowned during the annual “homecoming” 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 “reflect the voice of Milford’s student body and to ensure all students have the opportunity to feel included.”
“Choosing students for Homecoming Court is a long-standing tradition that has always been completely decided by student votes, and this year is no different,” said Nancy House, the school’s superintendent (a term for the manager in charge of a number of public schools or a school district).
“Congratulations to the 14 students who were picked by their peers to represent their class as Homecoming Royalty and Court.”
The post explains that the decision came about after a number of students nominated a female student in the “prom king” category, and the same student ultimately received the most votes.
“The 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 year’s Homecoming Royalty” said Josh Kauffman, the school’s principal (the American term for “headmaster”) later down in the post.
This is just one example of an increasing movement towards gender inclusivity in western society.
Last month, Barbie manufacturer Mattel launched its first gender-inclusive toy line.
And, over the summer, the Welsh government announced it would be making all school uniforms in Wales gender-neutral, a move which will come into effect from 1 September.