A gay high school senior at White Station High School in Memphis, Tennessee, was crowned to his school’s homecoming court Friday night while wearing a gold sequin off-the-shoulder gown and a tiara.
White Station High posted a photo Friday congratulating Brandon Allen, 17, on his victory.
We crowned our 2019 Homecoming Royalty tonight. Congrats to senior Brandon Allen! pic.twitter.com/TslNnCqRdc
— White Station High (@SpartansWSHS) September 28, 2019
The photo of Allen receiving his crown and sash has received thousands of likes and shares on Facebook and Twitter.
NBC News notes that Allen was crowned to the royal court, a gender-neutral replacement for the homecoming king and queen award that the school started awarding this year.
“Thank you to everyone who has contributed to me becoming queen,” Allen wrote on his Instagram. “You guys truly looked stunningly beautiful and I am so honored to have been able to walk with you guys!!”
While the overwhelming majority of online comments were in support of Allen, Principal Carrye Holland responded to some of criticism the school received in a Facebook post.
“Here’s the thing: it’s Brandon’s right to run for homecoming court under Title IX,” she wrote. “It’s the students’ choice of who they want to support as homecoming royalty. I’m exceedingly proud to be the principal of our amazing school.”
Joris Ray, the superintendent of Memphis’ Shelby County Schools, tweeted: “Regarding @SpartansWSHS Homecoming: Shelby County Schools policy prohibits discrimination, and the District is committed to ensuring a positive and respectful school environment where everyone is treated with dignity.”
…based 100 percent on student votes. As Superintendent, I support student voice and expression.
— Dr. Joris M. Ray (@SCSSuptRay) September 29, 2019
“Queer Eye” star Jonathan Van Ness also applauded the photo on Twitter.
What a beautiful picture
— Jonathan Van Ness (@jvn) September 28, 2019