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posted Friday, October 1, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 40
Transgender boy stripped of homecoming crown
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Transgender boy stripped of homecoming crown

by James Whitely - SGN Staff Writer

Outraged students of Norton Shores, Minnesota's Mona Shores High School have claimed that the high school's administrators took away the homecoming king's throne and crown from the rightful winner because he was Transgender.

The controversy has drawn nationwide press attention as the school district barred Transgender senior Oakleigh Reed from being crowned homecoming king, despite his being elected to that position by the student body.

The controversy has sparked a backlash in the student body that's playing out not only within the school, but on Facebook and in the offices of the ACLU.

Students of Mona Shores High have started a Facebook page titled, 'Oak is My King.'

After winning the student vote, school administrators reportedly told Reed on September 20, that he could not serve. Homecoming took place on the weekend of September 24-26. News reports about the controversy began spreading on September 26.

Reed, who is 17, was born as Oakleigh Marie, but now goes as Oakleigh Marshall - 'Oak' for short.

'It's the senior class that votes for their representative,' Reed told his local NBC station. 'What they did was take away the voice of the senior class.'

NBC reported that Reed, who is an honor student, mounted a one-day campaign for homecoming king on the social networking site Facebook.

'I just said, 'Vote for me for homecoming king.' & I don't see & any reasons why someone who's different shouldn't be on court. I thought, 'Hey, why not put myself out there?' I have just as much qualifications as anyone else in the school.'

The senior class voted overwhelmingly for Reed.

But on Monday, September 20, Reed was taken to the principal's office and told that he couldn't be king.

'They told me that they took me off because they had to invalidate all of my votes because I'm enrolled at Mona Shores as a female,' said Reed.

Assistant superintendent Todd Geerlings told local press that the ballot was simple: 'Vote for a boy for king and a girl for queen.'

Reed said his gender struggle has been life-long. After years of counseling, he plans a sex change operation when he turns 18.

According to Reed, up until now, the school district has been fairly accommodating by letting him wear a male band uniform and allowing him to wear the male graduation robe at the end of the year.

'[The teachers] call me Oak,' said Reed. 'And they say, 'he,' 'him,' 'his.'

The ACLU is reported to be investigating the case.

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