Opinion: Prom should be inclusive for all, gender labels no more


Used with permission from Joanne Meyer

Prom venue where the Prom King and Queen are traditionally announced.

Elizabeth Atanosian, Staff Writer

With prom rapidly approaching, the annual tradition of crowning Prom King and Queen follows suit.
However, as the world continues to become more inclusive and supportive of all, including those of all races and members of the LGBTQIA+ community, shouldn’t prom too?
According to WestEd, around 14 percent of both middle and high school students identify as something other than straight, and about 3 percent identify as a gender identity that does not correspond with their biological gender.
With these numbers increasing everyday, it is incredibly important to acknowledge that and make sure that no one is placed into one of two categories: “traditional” and “non-traditional.”
Rather than students voting for one person male and another female, nominations should be collected and pooled together. Once the 10 or so students with the largest number of nominations are gathered, the student body should vote for two members to be chosen as prom royalty, regardless of their orientation.
People across the globe are trying to eliminate in order to ensure everyone is treated equally and are part of a group that encompasses all no matter their beliefs, race, gender, sexual orientation, or any other way that shows their independence or the person who they want to be.
According to Youth.gov, schools that are inclusive of LGBTQIA+ role models, and celebrate identity along with expression tend to provide a better school climate and improved academic outcomes for LGBTQIA+ students.
Regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, all students have the right to express themselves in a supportive school environment where they feel safe and respected just the same as their peers and friends.
It is unnecessary to put gender roles on a school event that is meant to be fun and something for students to look forward to at the end of their school year.
According to The Prom Guide, prom is often portrayed as an event to establish the social structure of the school in movies and shows, but while some students may perceive it to be that way, others go to have a fun night with their friends and significant others.
When electing prom king and queen, the student body bases their votes on those that are likable, fun, and kind to all, none if which correlates with gender or sexual orientation.
Students should elect their friends and peers based on their personality and how they treat others. If those two students happen to be part of the LGBTQIA+ community or even be cisgender, meaning they identify with their born gender, so be it.
Events that are made to be fun for students should be fun for all, no one should feel left out or ignored, all should be included and all should have a night that they can enjoy and remember even after their high school years end.