When students at Kings High School in Kings Mill, Ohio, elected Annie Wise and her girlfriend Riley Loudermilk as their senior class prom king and queen, she was giddy and shedding tear of joy. But when some parents learned of the impending lesbian coronation, they objected angrily at a school board meeting held to discuss the matter. In the end, though, the school board supported the students’ decision and Wise and Loudermilk were crowned king and queen of the Kings High School senior class prom.
“It was so cool,” Wise told NBC News of the moment she learned the two high school sweethearts had been elected. “It was like loud screaming, lots of tears. My crown fell off and it broke.” The pair are both 18 and began dating about six months ago. The two also have become the first queer couple elected prom king and queen in the school district.
Some parents weren’t so overjoyed, though, and at least one angry parent voiced a contrary opinion at a school board meeting. But there were also other parents who spoke in support of the students at the meeting, saying they were proud of the affirming and inclusive election of Wise and Loudermilk.
“The student body elected two females as prom king and queen,” one parent said in support of the students according to WXIX. “This was obviously an active, collective decision made by the student body which shows they are absolutely not afraid to take a stand for things that matter to them.”
“Sorry, but I believe that there are still two genders – a male and a female,” said another parent, in blunt disagreement. “I think tradition stands for a queen that has a vagina, a king that has a penis and testicles. Period!” Wise responded to the comments.
“I just think it's weird that somebody who's old enough to be my mom is so worried about my genitalia and what's in my pants,” she said. “I think that's more concerning than having a gay couple win prom, obviously.”
Casting aside the outdated ideas, the school board congratulated Wise and Loudermilk on Facebook and allowed the two to serve as king and queen.
“What is great is it shows a lot of the character of our students at Kings High School,” Dawn Gould from the Kings Local School District said. “They’re inclusive and they get it.”
Wise told NBC News she and Loudermilk were surprised when they won.
“Usually prom king and queen is like a popularity contest, and neither of us are really on that popularity spectrum,” Loudermilk said.
The couple did honor one tradition, at least: Wise wore a suit for the occasion, but it wasn’t easy.
“It took me forever to find this suit that I wore, because there’s like no tuxes for girls in all of Southwest Ohio,” Wise lamented.
In the end, the prom went off without a problem last Friday.