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The Downfall of Homecoming Heteronormativity

Wave goodbye to your Homecoming Queen and King, and welcome your nonbinary Homecoming Royals

By Eva Jones, Talon Managing Editor

As autumn approaches, I can’t help but look to homecoming, a celebration of school spirit, community, and of course the awaited tradition of homecoming royalty. In terms of traditional practices, HRV isn’t one to hold onto tradition for tradition’s sake. We grow, society grows, so why shouldn’t our customs? Homecoming represents the return of students to school, and historically elects the prettiest, nicest, popular girls and the most handsome, athletic boys for their “All American” idyllic couple. I find this play-matchmaker game slightly unsettling. The forced coupling of students is uncomfortable, not to mention the enforcement of tiring gender roles and perpetual heteronormativity. If you can remember homecoming of 2016, when Lorena Johnson and Quincy Zuck were elected, you can see what I am alluding to. Upon finding out that Lorena and Quincy “liked each other” in middle school, the school exploded with “Lor-incy” fans and the goal of the student body became to elect the two of them as King and Queen to “reunite their love”. It was a funny joke, but can we imagine what they felt like throughout this? Imagine being coupled and fishbowl-ed by the entire school, without knowledge to your history or current relationship. We had no idea what happened between them, or what was currently happening in their lives, but we took it upon ourselves to play matchmaker. It ’s uncomfortable, to say the least, and definitely not something an educational institution should be practicing.

Dissolving gender stereotypes has a positive impact. Opening and diversifying fields aids in advancements, getting more people from different angles to work together and solve our world’s issues. Breaking glass ceilings and stereotypes is the core of what makes America a strong world leader. In 1917, Jeannette Rankin became the first congresswoman in the US. Imagine how empowering this election was to marginalized women of that era. You can see the empowerment and pride today’s subjugated groups, such as LGBTQ+ students, would gain. We have always been the innovative country of diverse individuals who challenge the status quo. Why should we stop now?

I believe our binary containment of sexuality and gender is confining and harmful to HRV. LGBTQ+ students are being marginalized, and our current court system rejects their very identities. The depreciation and dismissal of our LGBTQ+ students didn’t end with the legalization of gay marriage in 2015. Little shifts and changes in our day-to-day lives create social movements. HRV needs to play a bit of catch up to fit into 2018’s goals of inclusivity. Whether fifty or five percent of our school is LBGTQ+, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that students aren’t being included in efforts to unite the school. Homecoming should celebrate inclusivity and school spirit, so let’s take steps to include every student, regardless of their sexuality or gender.

We can change this. High schools and colleges across the nation are joining in a movement to change homecoming court to include all students’ identities. HRV needs to be a leader in unifying our school and country. The solution is simple: homecoming must be reorganized by electing a court (nongender specific) and electing two homecoming royals (or some other gender-neutral title) to lead and represent the spirit of HRV. There is no reason for us to abide by old, outdated traditions that erase the members of our school. Let’s evolve our traditions and put an end to LGBTQ+ erasure. If you have thoughts, please fill out this quick poll to help us welcome our homecoming royals.

https://goo.gl/forms/jKPUoxUTc5GOC1il2

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3 replies »

  1. Thanks, Eva. This is an interesting piece. It makes me rethink what we are encouraging here at HRVHS. I love when students are the ones who advocate for a change. I hope your voice is heard.

  2. While I am not opposed to including LGBT students, there shouldn’t be a conscious effort to include those students over other, binary students. It is a fact that there are far more binary, straight students than LGBT at HRVHS, and it is also a fact that there are many more straight people who deserve that spot on the homecoming court. And, After all, it is called homecoming king and queen for a reason.

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