A gender-nonconforming high school senior in a conservative part of California has been crowned his school’s homecoming queen.
Trevor Meyer was elected Clovis East High School’s homecoming queen October 4, NBC News reports. Meyer, who identifies as gender-neutral and told NBC he has no pronoun preference, was one of four finalists chosen from 24 candidates.
“Leading up to the announcement, my heart was racing, and I was on a roller coaster of emotions,” Meyer said. “I just think it’s important for everyone to step up and be themselves.”
Meyer had run for homecoming royalty several times previously at the school in Clovis, located near Fresno in central California. He had tried to become homecoming prince in his freshman, sophomore, and junior years but had not won, so his friends encouraged him to run for queen. He has been out as gender-neutral for about two years.
He received a “loud round of cheers” when he was crowned at halftime during the Clovis East football team’s homecoming game, The Fresno Bee reports. “Thank you so much,” he said afterward, according to the Bee. “I’m shaking. I’m so excited. It means there are people out there who care and support and know about what I’m doing. I’m just so thankful to have this opportunity. I think it means we’re taking a step in the right direction.”
Meyer wore a black-and-gold mermaid-style gown and six-inch heels for the occasion. He wears makeup and high heels to school every day, he told the Bee. “For me, gender is more of a spectrum,” he said. “There are days when I feel more masculine. There are days when I feel more feminine.” Winning the crown, he said, was a sign of the student body’s respect.
He received “overwhelming support from family and friends,” Shelbey Weidemann, his sister, told the paper.
There was some negative reaction, though, mostly in the form of comments on the Bee’s Facebook page. “Some of these comments are everything just short of people wanting him to die, thinking his gender expression is ‘disgusting,’” Weidemann told NBC.
But Meyer said even the negative comments provide an opportunity for dialogue. “Honestly, I love it when they talk about me, because it opens the conversation about identity that will lead to acceptance one day,” he told the network.
Meyer’s win was one of two unprecedented victories in the race for Clovis East’s homecoming court. A student from the school’s special education program was crowned homecoming king, something that had never happened before, NBC reports. Neither its story nor the Bee’s provided the student’s name.
“Both of the winners are so meaningful and shows how kind and supportive the student body is,” Weidemann told NBC. “One parent of Trevor’s graduating class called it ‘The Homecoming of Change.’”
“For Clovis East High School, our student body is very inclusive and accepting,” Kelly Avants, director of communications for the Clovis Unified School District, added in an interview with the network. “There is a long tradition at that school to be a school that welcomes everyone.”
Meyer’s victory is captured in the video below.