Lesbian couple fights to be crowned Prince, Princess at school dance
Published Tuesday, July 24, 2012 8:40AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 24, 2012 11:02AM EDT
A lesbian couple at a Montreal high school say they’re fighting for recognition after school officials allegedly refused to crown them “prince and princess” at an annual dance.
Kristina and Jessica were elected last February as Royalty Ball Prince and Princess at Howard S. Billings Regional High School in Chateauguay, Que., an honour that is customarily followed by a crowning ceremony and acknowledgement in the school yearbook.
But Kristina says she and Jessica were never crowned, or featured in the yearbook.
“I was told that there was a problem with me being prince,” she told CTV Montreal on Monday. “I was really disappointed.”
Her partner Jessica, who she has been dating for a year, says their exclusion from the custom made her feel discriminated against “just because of my sexual orientation.”
The main page of the Howard S. Billings high school website includes text congratulating the girls as the Royalty Ball Prince and Princess, but the pair wants traditional recognition -- the kind that involves a crowning and a photo in the school yearbook.
“Our yearbook is our memory and we fought hard for this. We shouldn’t even have to fight, really, for something that we won,” said Jessica.
Officials at Howard S. Billings high school weren’t available to comment, but several of Kristina’s and Jessica’s peers have rallied around the couple.
Ryan Holloway, vice-president of the school’s student council, says he resents the idea that the girls may have been excluded for breaking tradition as a lesbian couple.
“Traditions were made to be broken and not all of the rules we had in the 1950s still apply today,” he said.
It would not be the first time an LGBT couple has been barred from a school dance or custom.
Gay Ontario teen Marc Hall became an icon in the fight for equal rights when he fought to bring his boyfriend to his Catholic high school prom in 2002. After a drawn-out battle, a judge ruled that Hall and his date should be allowed to attend the dance.
Similar cases have cropped up in the United States. For instance, an Alabama lesbian couple were permitted to attend their prom in 2009 after the school indicated that they couldn’t.
Now, LGBT advocates are rallying behind Kristina and Jessica.
“LGBT youth have the right to be respected and to have the same advantages of the other students,” said Steve Foster, a spokesperson for the Gay and Lesbian Quebec Council.
With a report from CTV Montreal’s Tania Krywiak