Homecoming court prompts questions on gender roles


Olivia Pridemore, Staff Writer

Homecoming court has been a school tradition in most American schools, dating back to the early 1900s. Recently, issues have come up addressing the gender roles associated with homecoming court, primarily naming a king and queen. 

Advisors of various clubs around Bettendorf High School have said that they think that the pairings of a king and queen can be an issue, since it does not represent transgender students, non-binary students or homosexual relationships. 

A staff member who wished to remain anonymous said there are transgender students who may not want to be listed as queen or king since they don’t identify as female or male.

“If a student doesn’t align with stereotypical norms, they can feel excluded. AKA, I don’t identify as a boy or girl, so do I not get elected?” said Burroughs, a student council adviser. 

Students on the homecoming court were also disappointed, as they were not able to become an example for future homecoming court nominees. Multiple court members this year were in favor of having a couple between two boys, JT Kramer and Shae Van Zummeren and two girls, Harriet Aanestad and Brooke Magistrelli.

“We were kinda thinking that JT and Shae could be together as partners, and then Hattie and Brooke can be together, just because they would feel more comfortable,” Ahlivya Hill said. “Even though JT and Shae are platonic, it would have been an opening for future years to come.”

Students were also concerned with the involvement of parents in these issues. 

“School should be a place where everyone is accepted, and parents should trust their students and the decisions that they make. Like you do not go here, and that is not your child, so why do you care,” said Victoria Neece. 

Students in the junior class are concerned about their year on the court, as there has never been LGBTQ+ community representation.

“It’s hard to receive pushback from parents, but schools receive pushback from parents all of the time, and we received pushback from masks for a year and a half, and we still had them,” said Juls Vallejo.  

Some students like the idea of having homecoming court winners be referred to as “homecoming royalty” rather than “king and queen,” but others like the tradition of having one girl and one boy. 

“I just like king and queen,” Luke Menster said.

“Personally, I think that it should be up to the winners of the court. Obviously, it’s pre-decided, but I do believe that it would ruin the surprise of things. Homecoming royalty is honestly a pretty good idea though,” said Josh Gunn.