BETHESDA, MD (WUSA9) - Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School opted to go with ‘Homecoming Royalty’ instead of traditional Homecoming King and Queen titles this year for what students said is a more inclusive homecoming.
Now, students said the Montgomery County high school has at least one transgender person in the top eight. The senior said being nominated is both exciting and scary.
“I think it’s super cool to have this decision be made and then to have someone of, of you know not [said] gender, uh, appear in the nominations,” said Camern Pinkus. “But there’s also that fear that this is a social thing and that people are nominating you as a joke.”
Legally, Pinkus is a female student at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. To family and friends, he’s a transgender male named Camern.
Pinkus said had no idea the Student Government Association even voted for a gender-neutral homecoming court.
“I’m honestly surprised that the school did something so big, like made such a change, personally,” Pinkus said. “I don’t think it’s something, not because I don’t want to, but because I thought that it would take a lot more fighting for to get to.”
Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, even Time Magazine picked up online versions of the story.
The reactions at the school were not all accepting.
On the WUSA9 Facebook page, some bashed the county for the school body’s decision. Others evoked religion.
“This has gone too far,” was one of the most popular sentiments.
Pinkus heard some of these firsthand, but he’s not discouraged. He actually said he welcomes the dialogue.
He’s also a student leader for B-CC’s High School’s LGBTQ group, Spectrum, and is an awarded student activist for LGBTQ rights, his father said.
“It occurred to me that this is as much opportunity as there is backlash, to show that it’s a possibility,” said Pinkus.
The top two winners for the senior class will be announced on the football field this Friday.
Another Montgomery County high school, Walt Whitman High School, eliminated homecoming court altogether. Several students and a principal said it was done due to the lack of student interest.
Some students said the move will allow them to focus on more important things, like exams.
Still, the change was welcomed by the LGBTQ community.