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Kansas City high school names transgender homecoming queen, stirring debate

Oak Park High School in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo: Oak Park High School via Facebook)
Oak Park High School in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo: Oak Park High School via Facebook)
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Social media ignited in debate Tuesday over a Missouri high school's inauguration of a new homecoming queen.

Oak Park High School in Kansas City recently named transgender student Tristan Young as its homecoming queen. Young reportedly bested four biologically female students also vying for the title.

It is reportedly the second time the school has named a transgender student as its homecoming queen since 2015.

Several users of X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, criticized Young's inauguration, including prominent women's sports advocate Riley Gaines.

“So stunning & brave,” Gaines mocked. “Another reminder to all girls that men make the best women. I wonder if a female will win homecoming king or if it's understood that both of these spots are reserved for males. Who's to blame here?”

READ MORE | 'No one protected us': Riley Gaines slams trans females competing in women's sports during House hearing

Gaines also retweeted a comment speculating that “it would be just fine if a girl were crowned homecoming KING.”

Others X users accused Oak Park High School of trying to pander to a target audience.

“The fact that @NKCSchools immediately locked down comments is telling,” one user said. “They know this is nonsense pandering to the mentally ill. And they want everyone to play along.”

READ MORE | Transgender runner qualifies for California girls' championships after 2nd-place finish

Some users came to Young’s defense, stating that the student did nothing to deserve such criticism.

“Oak Park High School was my Alma Mater. Tristan Young was my friend,” a graduate of the school said. “I can tell you from experience that Tristan Young wasn't indoctrinated by a narrative. She was the nicest person I've ever had the pleasure of performing with."

“I want to pause and congratulate Tristan for being crowned Oak Park High School’s Homecoming Queen!” LGBTQ Commission of Kansas City Chair Justice Horn said. “I uplift this against the transphobic comments against this young person who was named queen by their peers. I’m thankful the next generation of Kansas City is so kind.”

When reached for comment, North Kansas City Schools (NKCS) told Crisis in the Classroom (CITC) that "homecoming courts are determined by student vote."

"This process allows students to nominate and place their vote behind who they believe is the best representative for their class. Our students voted for this year’s King and Queen," NKCS told CITC. "The role of the school and/or district is to honor students’ voice and decision."

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