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Out gay teen rocks gold-sequined gown as he’s crowned Homecoming Royalty at Memphis high school

2019-10-01

Brandon Allen sparkled as he was crowned Homecoming Royalty at White Station High School in Memphis on Friday, rocking a gold-sequined, off-the-shoulder number that had the crowd roaring and the tweets flying.

“I decided to wear a dress because I strongly believe in the fact that I’m a queen,” Allen, 17, told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “When I won I felt so relieved and so happy, because I had been fighting for something that I wanted for the longest amount of time, and then I finally got it.”

The senior had been trying for a seat on the Homecoming Court since sophomore year, the Commercial Appeal reported. Students and staff helped him get both accepted and crowned, he told the newspaper.

The school swapped out the traditional King and Queen monikers for the gender-neutral title this year, according to NBC News.

“It’s the students’ choice of who they want to support as homecoming royalty,” school principal Carrye Holland told the Commercial Appeal. “I’m exceedingly proud to be the principal of our amazing school. WSHS loves and supports everyone regardless of who they are or what they believe.”

An exuberant Allen returned the compliment.

“Thank you to everyone who has contributed to me becoming queen,” Allen wrote on Instagram, according to NBC News. “You guys truly looked stunningly beautiful and I am so honored to have been able to walk with you guys!!”

District officials were equally supportive.

“The District is committed to ensuring a positive and respectful school environment where everyone is treated with dignity,” said Joris Ray, superintendent of Shelby County Schools in Memphis, to the Appeal. “Homecoming queen and king is a tradition based 100 percent on student votes. As superintendent, I support student voice and expression.”

The post had its share of detractors, naysayers and others who adhere to the dualistic notion of gender and sexual orientation. But to this Holland was able to apply the rule of law.

“Here’s the thing,” Holland wrote under the Facebook version of the photo posted on behalf of the school. “It’s Brandon’s right to run for homecoming court under Title IX. It’s the students’ choice of who they want to support as homecoming royalty.

"You don’t have to agree but disrespectful comments will be deleted. WSHS loves and supports everyone regardless of who they are or what they believe. Thank you for the love and light from so many of you.”