After a transgender teenager was told he could not run for prom king, prompting a backlash, officials at his Georgia high school decided to make the prom court categories gender-neutral — leaving an opening for the student to still be crowned school royalty.
“I think they changed the categories because they were starting to understand exactly how far our movement could go,” the teenager, Dex Frier, who came out as trans in his sophomore year, told NBC News. “Our superintendent said that he didn’t want to put our school in between a hot topic, but he did that by neglecting to have rules that dictate gender-ruled ballots in the first place.”
Dex FrierCourtesy of Dex Frier
Frier, a 17-year-old senior at Johnson High School in Gainesville, Georgia, told NBC News last week that school officials had removed him from the list of prom king nominees and encouraged him to enter as a prom queen contender instead. A petition started last week calling for Frier’s return to the prom king ballot amassed nearly 32,000 signatures before claiming victory.
“Not only are we confused at this decision, but we are severely disappointed in the Hall County School Board,” the petition stated. “The two core beliefs of Hall County Schools are outlined on their webpage: ‘The Most Caring Place On Earth’ and ‘Character, Competency, and Rigor…For All.’”