This year the San Luis Obispo county school district has started making drastic changes to the Homecoming Courts. With a growing need for representation and equality for all students, plus the legalization of non-binary as a gender in California, many teachers and staff decided that rewarding students for their individuality, not their gender or relationship status, was more practical. For Morro Bay High School, that means that there will not be a Homecoming Queen or King this year, but rather a 14 person Homecoming Court. This will consist of three freshmen, three sophomores, three juniors, and five seniors. People will run together in groups of three and still perform skits. They will appear in alphabetical order on the ballots, and students will vote for their top individual students.
The new changes have left the community and school feeling split. For many older community members, Homecoming Queen and King is a hundred-year-old tradition, and the change feels sudden and uncalled for. However, many members of the LGBTQ+ community feel like the change will bring about more representation, and a feeling of normality for students questioning their gender. Teacher and ASB coordinator Megan Weitzen speaks up about the controversy, “I do think it will be both ways in our community. I think some people will appreciate it, or at least understand it, because we are celebrating more students than in the past. That has more families whose child is being recognized, so I’m hoping that they will see that we are celebrating more kids… I personally don’t think a Queen should win and have to have a King by her side, and that a King should win and have to have a Queen by his side.” She then went on to say, “I am hoping that the idea of celebrating everyone will trump any negativity about losing the Queen and King tradition, which is kind of an old fashioned, silly tradition.”
I personally am in a moral gray area. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community and a person with lots of non-binary and gender fluid friends, I understand the need for representation in our community. However, this change to Homecoming Courts feels isolating and unfair. It feels less like the community is treating LGBTQ+ teens as normal, and more like they are putting us on a pedestal and making a big deal over something that did not need to be a big deal. My biggest goal as a pansexual teen is to have people understand my sexuality, but not treat me as special or different. Whenever teachers make a big deal out of treating everyone equally, I feel even more weird, like people no longer see me as a normal teenager, they just see me as a part of this group. Taking a huge community event like Homecoming and changing it to make us fit in does not make us feel like we fit in. Nonetheless, I understand the changes, and now that they have already been set in place I will still respect the people who choose to run.