Prom Queen and Queen? Prom King and King?
April 14, 2021
Prom has been a tradition in high schools across the country and is accompanied by the nomination and voting for prom kings and queens. However, this king-queen system needs to be changed because it restricts the possibility of having a same-sex couple run to be prom queen and queen or prom king and king.
For dance courts, students nominate other students in their grade for prince, princess, king, and queen. Students then vote for one of the top 3-4 students of their grade for each title and there is one winner for each title in each grade: freshman prince and princess, sophomore prince and princess, junior prince and princess, and finally, senior king and queen.
Photo Obtained From Netflix From "The Prom"
Small changes, like the one that could be made to how voting works, helps make Gahr more inclusive to the LGBTQ+ community by granting them the same opportunities as their straight peers. Same-sex couples would not be prevented from going to a dance together, so why should they be restricted from running together? If Gahr were to change how voting works, it would allow for the possibility of a same-sex couple to run and win their respective titles. How would voting change? Well, students would nominate and vote normally, the only difference is that the two nominees with the highest number of votes would win. Now students would be able to vote for two princesses/queens or two princes/kings.
But what if no same-sex couples run? The worst that could happen is two princes/kings or two princesses/queens win that are not dating. In the past, those who win are usually those who ran with another nominee and/or have publicized asking to be voted for, like Homecoming King Ishan Bhakta and Homecoming Queen Paris Marabut, who both posted their nominations on social media and messaged students asking for their votes. This method of nominations and voting would not change much, except that now two same-sex nominees can run together, regardless of whether they are dating or not.
Freshmen Homecoming Prince Gustavo Sanchez stated, “I belive that same-sex dance courts should be allowed. As the Freshman Homecoming Prince, I wondered if I [had] had a running mate who was male, how would it work? It felt like I was being forced into being ‘normal.’” The way dance courts are currently set up caters to the heteronormative view of the world and ignores LGBTQ+ individuals. When asked about possibly changing the voting process, Gustavo also said, “I would not mind at all. I believe that altering the process would be very welcoming and open. Making sure all students of the LGBTQ+ community feel welcomed, and not excluded, is a very important topic.” Like Gustavo said, addressing the issues LGBTQ+ students face and making changes to make them feel included is a very important topic and hopefully, Gahr will begin to take steps to make these changes.
When asked about potentially changing the voting process to allow for the possibility of two queens/princesses or two kings/princes, Gahr’s Director of Activities Mr. Velez said, “ASB is always looking for ways to be more inclusive of ALL of our students. I will be working closely with our student leaders to promote more diversity - not just our dance court nominees, but for all things ASB. No new ideas are ‘off the table.’”
This change should apply to all dances. Prom, winter formal, and homecoming court voting should all be set up this way. This change would make Gahr a more inclusive space for the LGBTQ+ community by reducing the chance of having to change the voting system and making it a huge deal for one same-sex couple who may want to run. With ASB in support of increasing inclusivity at Gahr, there is hope that changes will be made in next year's dance courts and Gahr will have its first-ever Prom Queen and Queen or Prom King and King.