When Alpharetta High School student body president Reuben Lack proposed that his school drop the sex-typed labels of "prom king and queen" in order to make the annual dance more inclusive of same-sex couples, his teachers allegedly ousted him from office. He's suing his school now, but let's take a closer look at the genius of Lack's idea, and the tweak that could make it inclusive for both same and different-gender couples.
It sounds like Lack attends a high school where the prom king and queen are a dating couple. In my high school, the prom queen and king are just a male and female who chosen by the senior class--they do need to be dating or even have to know each other. Surprisingly, my high school system partially alleviates the inherent unfairness of a "straight couple" winning because a straight couple never wins, only one male and one female. How accidentally progressive for a Texas school!
For the record, it annoys me whenever gay guys get crowned as prom king and queen--it reinforces the idea of gay men as "queens" and also cuts women out of the competition entirely.
While it's important to ensure that each girl and boy has an equal chance to shine as high school royalty, there's a way to award a crown to a gay couple without cutting out heteros either -- schools should crown two men and two women as equal rulers over the prom court.
In my proposed new system, there would be crowns for prom royalty regardless of their gender and a gay or straight couple could still feasibly win. It's a much better idea than cutting out either sex from the win or impeaching your student body president