Recently, transgender student Oakleigh Reed, a senior at Mona Shores High School, was denied the right to run for homecoming king because he’s registered at his school as a female. Despite the fact that he presents as a guy, his classmates think of him as a guy, and he uses male pronouns, the school administrators wouldn’t budge.
Now, a transgender girl at North Dallas High School is facing a similar dilemma. Andy Moreno was nominated to run for homecoming queen but was barred from competing by the school principal. According to Jon Dahlander, a school district spokesman, “The principal said, ‘You are a male and males can run for king, not queen.’”
School district spokeswoman Sandra Guerrero said that the district doesn’t have a policy regarding transgender people and homecoming royalty but she supports the principal’s decision. “Every principal has the discretion to make that decision, and it is a campus-based issue,” she said.
The principal, Dinnah Escanilla, is new to the school. Describing the principal, Moreno said “She’s new and I guess she’s just trying to be strict. This isn’t being strict. It’s closed-minded and homophobic.”
Moreno, an 18-year-old senior, described her situation as a case of discrimination. “The students treat me like any other girl,” she said. “Why can’t the administration?” Moreno has not yet transitioned, but she started making steps towards passing as a girl when she entered high school and came out last year.
Moreno should be allowed to run for homecoming queen. She identifies as a woman and that’s what should matter — not her legal or biological sex. The principal’s decision, and the school district’s failure to reverse the principal’s decision, shows prejudice toward transgender students. A prejudice that should be corrected by taking action on behalf of Moreno.
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