Missouri high school officials faced sharp criticism after crowning a transgender teen as the “Homecoming Queen” for a second time, sparking outrage from transphobic people.
According to a report published by NBC News, Oak Park High School officials in Kansas City were highly criticized for crowning a transgender nominee, Tristan Young, as the school’s Homecoming Queen after successfully edging her four competitors to win the prestigious title.
A Monumental Win
“Being nominated and then becoming queen is so much deeper than just surface level,” said Young, as quoted by CBS commenting on her historic win.
Extending her gratitude to family, friends, and Oak Park for helping her overcome challenges and make it to the top, she acknowledged that she had gone through a “difficult high school journey” and that she couldn’t have made it without the support accorded to her.
Justice Horn, chair of the Kansas City LGBTQ Commission, celebrated Young’s remarkable achievement in a tweet quoted by CBS.
“I want to pause and congratulate Tristan for being crowned Oak Park High School’s Homecoming Queen!” tweeted Horn.
“I uplift this against the transphobic comments against this young person who was named queen by their peers. I’m thankful the next generation of Kansas City is so kind,” he added.
I want to pause and congratulate Tristan for being crowned Oak Park High School’s Homecoming Queen! 👑— Justice Horn (@JusticeHorn_) September 19, 2023
I uplift this against the transphobic comments against this young person who was named queen by their peers. I’m thankful the next generation of Kansas City is so kind. 💓 https://t.co/MDpsuQJ14T
Young’s Crowning Faces Sharp Criticism
After the crowning event on Friday, North Kansas City Schools posted her photos on its Facebook page and X, along with a congratulatory message to celebrate her achievement.
However, the news of her win was not received well by transgender critics, who took up the opportunity to express their discomfort.
“So stunning and brave. Another reminder to all girls that men make the best women. I wonder if a female will win homecoming king or if it’s understood that both of these spots are reserved for males. Who’s to blame here?” a former college swimmer, Riley Gaines, tweeted.
Gaines, a former swimmer at the University of Kentucky, has fiercely criticized transwomen participating in women’s sports competitions. However, her tweet was also met with a backlash as some of the comments she received criticized her sarcastic statement regarding Young’s crowning, reminding her that students did the voting and not the faculty members.
‘Student Votes Determine The Homecoming Courts’
While some critics blame the event organizers for allowing a trans woman to compete with binary women, a North Kansas City Schools official emphasized to NBC News that competition winners are determined based on student votes.
“Our students voted for this year’s King and Queen. The role of the school and/or district is to honor students’ voice and decision,” Susan Hiland, a spokesperson for the district, told CBS News when asked about the mixed reactions received regarding the event.
With her successful win, Tristan Young has become the second transgender girl at Oak Park High School in Kansas to hold the title, following in the footsteps of Landon Patterson, who also received the prestigious award eight years ago.
Young is the latest in the LGBTQ+ to hit the headlines for rising above the traditional gender norms after a high school in Indiana awarded a drag queen a prom king honor, following the path of Ohio high school, which handed a prom king and queen award to a lesbian couple in April 2021, with Missouri High School also awarding its “Homecoming Queen” honor to a first male in the same year.
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This article was produced by TPR Teaching.
Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.