Transgender King Loses Crown
Michigan high school says teenage girl who lives as a boy won't wear homecoming crown.
Some Mona Shores High School students say administrators stole the homecoming king throne from the rightful winner, a transgender senior.
The controversy is playing out in the Muskegon, Michigan school's hallways and on Facebook.
Some classmates believe the crown belongs to Oakleigh Reed, who was born as Oakleigh Marie, but who now goes as Oakleigh Marshall, or Oak for short.
In fact, friends have started a Facebook page, titled, "Oak is My King."
"It's the senior class that votes for their representative," Reed said. "What they did was taking away the voice of the senior class."
Assistant Superintendent Todd Geerlings said the issue is simple: The ballots gave two choices, vote for a boy for king and a girl for queen.
In school records Oakleigh is still listed as a female.
The 17-year-old says the gender struggle has been life-long.
After years of counseling, Oakleigh plans a sex change operation at age 18.
The school has already made concessions.
"They let me wear a male tux for band uniform, and they're going to let me wear the male robe and cap for graduation," Oakleigh pointed out.
Teachers, Oakleigh said, use male pronouns.
"They call me Oak, and they say, he, him, his," the teen said.
Oak, an honor student, mounted a one-day campaign for homecoming king on Facebook.
"I just said, 'Vote for me for homecoming king.' I don't see why there's any reasons why someone who's different shouldn't be on court. I thought, 'Hey, why not put myself out there? I have just as much qualifications as anyone else in the school," he said.
The campaign took off.
Oakleigh was overwhelmed by the support of classmates.
Then, last Monday, the principal called Oak into her office.
"They told me that they took me off because they had to invalidate all of my votes because I'm enrolled at Mona Shores as a female," Oakleigh said.
Oakleigh was happy with the support from classmates, but "sometimes it's nice to have something tangible," he said.