Students at the College of William and Mary have elected a transgender homecoming queen for the first time in the school’s history, according to officials.
Jessee Vasold took the field Saturday at halftime of the Williamsburg school's football game against James Madison wearing a red shirt, black pants and small silver lip ring to applause. The junior and other members of the homecoming court were introduced to the crowd and posed for pictures.
“I knew I was nominated , but I was just surprised, because there were a lot of really good candidates on the ballot,” Vasold told the Daily Press. “I know all of the other girls, and they’re wonderful people, really friendly. So I was surprised,” she said.
Vasold identifies as ``genderqueer,'' a term for those who don't adhere to either strictly male or strictly female gender roles. Students nominated and elected Vasold, who will represent the Class of 2011.
“William and Mary is a diverse and inclusive community, and student selections to this year's Homecoming Court reflect that,” school spokesman Brian Whitson said in an e-mail.
Vasold is the student assembly undersecretary of diversity initiatives for the college’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs, according to the paper.