A high school in Los Angeles can now claim to be one of the first to crown one of its male students the coveted title of Prom Queen. This past Saturday, senior Sergio Garcia was voted by his fellow Fairfax High School students to be the Queen.
“I felt invincible,” Garcia tells the Los Angeles Times of his win.
Garcia, who is openly gay, said his candidacy started out as a sort of challenge. He didn’t really plan to run until he saw posters around the school, and the qualifications for Queen—a King candidacy just didn’t seem right, he says—didn’t include gender.
“I didn't really know if the school approved. I thought, 'Why can't I do it?’” Garcia said. “I see myself as a boy with a different personality. ... I don't wish to be a girl; I just wish to be myself,” he said.
His run was at first dismissed as a joke, but in the end it was taken seriously as it sparked a wide debate on campus about gender roles. Fairfax High School has often been at the forefront of the gay rights struggle. It has a Gay-Straight Alliance student group on campus, and Project 10, an onsite support program for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth, that started there in 1984. (The school has also graduated some of the top names in the entertainment industry, among them David Arquette, the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea Balzary and Anthony Kiedis, Ricardo Montalban and Mila Kunis among the long list.)
“[This] just shows how open-minded our class is,” said Vanessa Lo, the school's senior class president.