Two Maryland high schools strayed from tradition during their homecoming festivities on Friday night.
For the first year, Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School held a gender-neutral homecoming court in which students could elect two girls, two boys, a boy and girl or include transgender or gender non-binary students instead of the traditional king and queen.
In each grade, two people were chosen from a court of several students. They were given the option to be crowned as "homecoming royalty" or the traditional king or queen titles.
"For me it's a really big deal because I identify as a transgender male and to have this new gender-neutral homecoming court in place really makes it feel like I don't need to go around anything to fit in," said student Camern Pinkus, who was elected to homecoming royalty.
"B-CC is a very activist school and it seems that we're always kind of in the front of change," said John Molyneaux, another student elected.
Walt Whitman High School's Student Government Association recently voted to get rid of the homecoming court tradition, telling Bethesda Magazine that crowning a homecoming king and queen could make some gender non-binary or transgender students uncomfortable.
“At Whitman, the homecoming court is never really a big deal, it’s not really instilled in our school culture,” Student Body President Ari Gutman told the magazine. “We decided that instead of having the court, we would just not have it at all, so no one was left out.”