Penn State University has done away with the traditional homecoming king and queen and will instead allow individuals of any gender or gender identity to occupy those positions.
PSU’s 2018 Homecoming Executive Committee and Royalty Committee have changed the titles in order to be “welcoming to all,” according to FoxNews.com. Instead of the titles of homecoming king or queen, the two selected students will receive a “Guide State Forward Award.”
“Recognizing Penn State’s continued dedication toward diversity, equity, and inclusion, these changes challenge us to expand our understanding of sexual and gender diversity and extends a welcome that other universities and institutions have been doing for some time," said PSU LGBTQA Student Resource Center Director Brian Patchcoski.
Some PSU students applauded the change, while others voiced concerns.
“I think it’s a great idea, especially since there’s a lot of people who identify no longer as just male or female,” said student Rhea Singh.
Another student, Melanie Kovacs, said it was a longstanding “tradition to have a king and a queen.”
The committee has narrowed the candidates down to 10 students, and it remains to be seen whether the two chosen will be a man and a woman, two men, two women, transgender students, or any combination of these.
Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/LarsHallstrom
Publication date: April 17, 2018