We didn’t have the best experience with prom, but we get that it’s a big deal for a lot of teenagers. That’s why it was so disheartening to hear about Issak Oliver Wolfe, a senior at Red Lion Area Senior High School in York, Pennsylvania.
Issak (right, with girlfriend Taylor Lunar Thomas) is trans and has been widely embraced by his classmates and teachers. He felt so supported that he decided to run for prom king, with an overwhelmingly positive response from the student body. In fact, his election was almost a foregone conclusion until the official ballots came out—that’s when Wolfe saw that his entry had been switched back to his birth name and put into the girls’ category. It seems Red Lion’s new principal, Mark Shue, was “uncomfortable” with the idea of a trans male being crowned prom king.
Issak’s awesome sister, Cheyenne, has started a Change.org petition to raise awareness about the situation, help get Isaak the crown he so richly deserves, and make sure he receives his diploma with the correct name on it:
Personally, I feel as though if a person cannot dispel their bigotry for the sake of running a public school, he or she should not have the principal position! Issak’s mother as well as many teachers and outside forces have taken hold of this injustice and we plan to fight this decision with everything in our power.
We are trying to bring attention to this story so that people out there in Issaks’ position know they are not alone, and so that my boyfriend has the chance to stand up on stage wearing the crown he deserves, with the prom king sash firmly across his shoulder. We are trying to shed light on the bigotry and closed mindsets of our small town of Red Lion. We must let Mr. Shue know that his discrimination will not be tolerated.
If you want to give Shue a piece of your mind, you can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.