A gay couple have made school history in the United States by being the first-ever elected homecoming prince and prince.
Brandon Raphael and Kiernan Gatewood, both 16, wore sashes proudly proclaiming their royalty as they rode through the city of Davis, California, in the school’s annual homecoming parade.
According to the Sacramento Bee, “They stood in the back of a pick-up truck, arm-in-arm, smiling warmly despite the rain.”
The couple, who have been dating for four months, were elected in a write-in ballot election at Davis Senior High School in a city renowned for its liberal leanings.
“[Davis] is a liberal town,” said Raphael.
“Go 10 miles in any other direction and you’ll get some other feeling.”
The election is particularly significant because students chose their own candidates in a secret ballot.
“The students voted for who they wanted to win,” said student Charlotte Haar.
The absence of the usual chorus of disapproval that accompanies such developments has equally surprised people.
“I thought our (school) administration would have more to say about it,” said Raphael.
Lae-San Seto, advocacy coordinator for the San Francisco-based Gay-Straight Alliance Network, agrees that such milestones usually spark controversy within communities.
According to Seto, “It’s a sign that gay people are getting recognised everywhere and are considered vital members of the school community and are able to participate in school events in the same full way that their straight fellow students are able to.”
Principal Michael Cawley, who declined to comment on the election, only said that he hoped the issue would remain “low-key”.
Most students have been celebrating their friends’ momentous victory for days.
“I think it’s just such a good thing for our school,” said Chandler Fox, co-president of the campus Gay-Straight Alliance.
“Just knowing that the other kids recognise them as a couple and would vote for a gay couple to be prince and prince of homecoming. … I don’t know, I just think it’s awesome.
“I want people to know about it so maybe it can happen at another school.”