A transgender student from Georgia has been named “Royal Knight” at his prom after he was allegedly removed from the “prom king” ballot because he is not legally male.
Dex Frier—who transitioned during his sophomore year—was surprised and elated to discover that he was one of six boys at school to be nominated as prom king by his peers.
However, his hopes were quickly dashed when Hall County Schools superintendent, Will Schofield, allegedly said he was not allowed to run as prom king as he is not legally male.
Frier claimed he was told that he would have to either be removed from the ballot or run as prom queen instead.
The school implemented gender-neutral titles for the prom instead
Late last week, Frier and his grandfather met with the school’s principal and decided that—instead of prom king and prom queen—the school would award students the gender neutral titles of “Royal Knight” instead, according to Yahoo Lifestyle.
Frier attended his prom on Saturday night and was named Royal Knight at the ceremony.
“When I walked off stage, there were about 20 people crying hysterically for me.”
– Dex Frier, transgender student
He told Yahoo Lifestyle: “It felt amazing to be recognized for who I am — not who I am perceived to be.”
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He continued: “When I walked off stage, there were about 20 people crying hysterically for me.”
The compromise was agreed after Frier’s schoolmates started a Change.org petition where they demanded that Frier be allowed to run as prom king.
The petition has been signed by more than 30,000 people since it was launched last week.
A petition was signed by more than 30,000 people demanding Frier be allowed to run as prom king
It reads: “Prior to Mr. Schofield’s interference, we, the Johnson High School student body, elected Dex Frier to represent us as a male member on the Prom Court—this was a free-response, purely democratic election system in which Dex was one of six males who received the most votes.
“Our request is simple: allow Dex Frier to remain as a male member of Johnson High School’s Prom Court. I hope that you stand with us, that you stand with Dex, against the transphobic attitude of Hall County Schools.”
In an update posted after the prom, students wrote: “We would like to thank administration, both at the school and county level, for listening and welcoming our concerns—and most importantly, implementing a plan to address them.
In the update, they shared a GoFundMe page set up by Frier, where he is aiming to raise $7,500 so that he can begin to physically transition.
Speaking to NBC News last week, Frier said that he wanted his identity to be “respected and included.”
“I want to bring awareness to the fact that removing me from the king ballot and giving me the option to run as queen shouldn’t have been the way to fix this situation.”