Transgender student says school is forcing him to run as Prom Queen instead of Prom King
Dex Frier, a 17-year-old student at Johnson High School in Gainsville, Georgia, was shocked and excited to discover his classmates nominated him for prom king. "It wasn’t even a thing that had crossed my mind," Frier, who identifies as male, told The Gainsville Times. "The moment I got home, I immediately started crying. I’ve never been shown so much support before."
However, after getting chosen as one of the six prom king candidates, Frier says he was called into a meeting with the principal and a school supervisor. "They called me there to tell me I couldn't run for prom king ’cause I wasn't legally male and that was the way it was in Hall County [school district]," the high school senior told Buzzfeed. "The only way I was eligible to run for prom was to be put on the prom queen ballot."
"Just because I’m not legally male I was going to get excluded from something that every guy has the opportunity to be in high school. It was really upsetting," explained Frier, who began identifying as male during his sophomore year. "As a student I felt I had the right to be put on the ballot. It was really upsetting."
In response to the controversy, Hall County Schools superintendent Will Schofield stated, "This school district has never removed any student from any prom or homecoming court." Of course, that does not contradict Frier's side of the story: Yes, school officials are not forcibly removing him from the court - they're just forcing either remove himself or be misgendered in front of the whole school.
"I am not interested in being responsible for placing our school district in a the middle of a national social, societal and legal issue which would have the potential to substantially disrupt us from our core mission of providing an education for the boys and girls in our community," Will Schofield continued, although it's a bit too late for that. "Prom should be a time for students to fellowship together and celebrate their local school."
In support of Frier, students organized a Change.org petition which has received more than 12,000 signatures as of Thursday, March 20. "This petition is absent of any malicious intentions, rather, it is a medium in which Hall County students, and students across the globe, can demonstrate solidarity in the fight for human rights regardless of gender, race, class, or any other perceived difference," the petition states. "Our request is simple: allow Dex Frier to remain as a male member of Johnson High School's Prom Court."
The Johnson High School prom is on March 23. Regardless of whether Frier runs as prom king, the incident has brought him a flood of overwhelming support, from both his peers in high school and from supporters of LGBTQ rights from all over the world.