Transgender Student Denied Dream of Running for Homecoming
September 5, 2013 by HRC staff
Post submitted by Mitchell Scuzzarella, HRC Digital Media Intern
At 17, Pennsylvania teen Kasey Caron was more concerned with the SATs and college applications than his school’s homecoming ceremony. But when Caron, a transgender teen, requested to be on the male ballot he caused a stir in his school district.
Caron was initially given the option to run on the male ballot by a guidance counselor at Richland High School. Later, however, Caron was informed that Pennsylvania law prohibited him from being on the male ballot due to his driver’s license identifying him as female.
Caron, who initially expressed excitement over being in the running, was hurt by his school’s decision to move him to the female ballot.
“I was trying to be ok with it,” Caron told The Tribune-Democrat on being informed of the switch. “I left the office and as soon as I walked across the hallway to the guidance office, I started crying.”
The school also expressed discomfort with pairing Caron with one of the winners of the male homecoming court. Instead, Caron was told to bring his own escort while the other court members were paired up.
“I couldn’t understand how I wasn’t allowed to be on court as a guy and escort a girl, but I apparently couldn’t be on court as a girl and be escorted by a guy either,” said Caron in an editorial. "Even though I could go to homecoming and wear a suit and escort a girl of my choice, I was still going to be in the running for homecoming queen, and that’s not right."
Caron’s mother Kathy Caron and her partner Cindy Theys contacted groups to defend Caron and met with school officials Tuesday to discuss the situation. According to Caron’s mother, the school was apologetic but refused to move on the issue.
She plans to speak Monday with the school board about Kasey, during which she will also petition to ask that Kasey be allowed to wear a blue cap and gown during graduation with the boys rather than the red worn by girls.
Caron has already been contacted by the American Civil Liberties Union about the situation and was invited to speak the gay/straight alliance at Clarion University. Despite dealing with such a tough situation at a young age, Caron is determined to stay in the running.
“I’m going to fight this until I’m on homecoming court as a male, and I’m officially running for homecoming king,” said Caron.
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Issues: Youth & Campus
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