By Buna Poeng
On March 13, Oakland High School’s Pride Club and senior class office came to a consensus to de-gender prom royalty positions, putting an end to the school’s long tradition of “kings” and “queens.”
The meeting included Pride Club members, allies, the senior class office, leadership students, Leadership teacher Amy Dellefield, and principal Matin Abdel-qawi.
“This change is an essential one and it’s long overdue,” said Pride Club sponsor and English teacher Arianna Puopolo. “I am so thankful to our demonstration and to the Leadership class for the support they have shown in adopting a policy that is inclusive of everyone.”
In 2016, students at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School adopted a gender-neutral homecoming royalty court, allowing students to not have to identify their gender.
The pride club and senior class office agreed to these terms: people will run, and win, without gender labels (such as “king” and “queen”); people may run alone; and there will be a prom royalty court of six people.
“I’m glad we were able to work together and come to an agreement quickly,” said senior class vice president Christine Nguyen. “I like the new royalty system, and I hope everyone has a blast at prom.”
Many felt the same way about the new system this year.
“Prom royalty will still be a bit boring, but I’m fine with the new system,” said Pride Club member and senior Emil Saechao.
Last year, the pride club and leadership class took first steps towards de-gendering prom royalty and in the March 13 meeting, both have agreed to keep this new tradition going.
Overall, this year’s efforts have brought positive reactions from students who hope that this will be a great prom.
“I really appreciate their exertion to address the issue when it was brought up,” said Pride Club member and senior Kaylyn Saechao. “We were able to make a space that is more inclusive to the LGBTQ community.”