Transgender teen says he is being forced to run for prom queen after being nominated for king

A 17-year-old transgender student said his high school is forcing him to run as a prom queen after his classmates nominated him for prom king.

Dex Frier told BuzzFeed News on Thursday that officials at his high school in Gainesville, Ga., gave him an ultimatum ahead of his prom.

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Frier told the outlet that he was pulled into a meeting with the principal and school supervisor last week.

"They called me there to tell me I couldn't run for prom king ’cause I wasn't legally male and that was the way it was in Hall County [school district]," he said. "The only way I was eligible to run for prom was to be put on the prom queen ballot."

Frier said he was told that the decision came from the superintendent of the school district, Will Schofield.

Schofield told the outlet that he didn’t want the issue "to substantially disrupt us from our core mission."

"I am not interested in being responsible for placing our school district, by acts of commission or omission, in the middle of a national social, societal and legal issue which would have the potential to substantially disrupt us from our core mission of providing an education for the boys and girls in our community," Schofield told BuzzFeed News.

Frier said he wants the school officials to give him the "ability ... to express the way I feel and the way I think about myself ... without having politics come into play."

"Especially in a school setting," he added. "I don’t know of many trans people who go to this school [but] I don’t want anyone else to have to go through this. It hurts being told you don’t deserve the same rights as someone else because you’re not the same as them.” 

Frier’s classmates reportedly rallied behind him and sent an email to the school official asking him to reconsider.

His friend Fiona Sandi penned the letter and said that preventing Frier from running for prom king sends “a message of intolerance that could act as a precedent for future issues regarding transgender rights.”

A Change.org petition has been signed by more than 12,200 people as of Thursday evening.