First lesbian couple elected prom king and queen in Ohio school district go viral
Social media users have rallied behind a lesbian high school couple that earlier this month became the first same-sex couple elected to prom king and queen in their school district in Ohio.
Annie Wise and Riley Loudermilk, who have known each other since third grade and started dating six months ago, were elected prom royalty at Kings High School in Kings Mills, Ohio.
The 18-year-olds told NBC News that while the win was unexpected, it was an unforgettable moment for them both.
Wise said that when their win was announced, there was “a lot of screaming and jumping.”
“My crown fell off and it broke. There was a lot going on, but it’s something I’ll never forget,” she added. “It was amazing.”
Kings Local School District shared a photo of the winning couple on Facebook on April 17, writing “Congratulations to Kings High School 2021 Prom King and Queen,” along with a photo of Wise and Loudermilk wearing crowns and sashes.
As of Friday, the post had been liked roughly 4,000 times and shared by more than 400 people.
Most of the more than 2,000 comments on the post were positive, with some sending messages of congratulations, and others commending the school for allowing a same-sex couple to win the crowns.
One user who commented called it a “huge leap forward for my home state.”
Others commented that they were not able to bring a date of the same sex to their proms, nor were girls allowed to wear suits, commending Wise for wearing one, complete with a purple bow tie and vest to match Loudermilk’s dress.
Some Facebook users, however, were not as thrilled by the couple’s win, with Loudermilk telling NBC that the school district struggled to keep up with and delete negative comments on the post.
Some users claimed the girls “need Jesus,” while another user said that the prom king title should be given to a man.
Some parents of students at the school also pushed back on the win, with one parent at a school board meeting last week saying, “Sorry, but I believe that there are still two genders, a male and a female,” according to local Fox affiliate WXIX-TV.
The parent added, “I think tradition stands for a queen that has a vagina, a king that has a penis and testicles.”
However, the school district has stood by the decision, and Loudermilk and Wise said that the support they have received, especially from fellow students, shows their town is making progress toward acceptance of the LGBT community.
“Most parents are really conservative, but a lot of their kids aren’t conservative at all — they’re very liberal,” Wise told NBC. “And a lot of those conservative people’s kids voted for us, and I just think that’s really cool that kids are learning on their own and not just taking all their information from their parents.”
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