Transgender student Issak Oliver Wolfe has been receiving positive support from his community in York County, Pennsylvania during his transition, but his school principal has put the 18-year-old in a situation he calls humiliating.
Wolfe put in his bid to run for prom king, making flyers and posters to promote himself. But when the official ballot came out, he found himself on the list for prom queen instead.
The story of the Red Lion Area high school senior has created a buzz on the internet. A petition has been filed on change.org to Principal Mark Shue for an official apology to Wolfe as well as his name placed on the prom king voting list.
“We are trying to bring attention to this story so that people out there in Issak’s position know they are not alone, so that my boyfriend has the chance to stand up on stage wearing the crown he deserves, the prom king sash firmly across his shoulder,” says the petition, written by Wolfe’s girlfriend Taylor. “We must let Mr. Shue know that we will not stand for any discriminatory acts. Everyone deserves to be treated with equality and respect that a human being deserves.”
The petition has garnered over 3,600 signatures since it was posted, and also asks that Wolfe’s name be read as “Issak Oliver Wolfe” at graduation.
Shue or a spokesperson for Red Lion Area Senior High School did not return emails or messages from 429Magazine, but according to reports, Shue was uncomfortable putting Wolfe on the prom king list because it wasn’t traditional. In a public statement, the school simply said they wanted to protect the safety of their students and wanted the media to respect their privacy in this matter.
“For a transgendered person, it is degrading to have that, and I wasn’t even warned,” Wolfe told The York Dispatch. “I would like an apology, at a minimum, I wasn’t given a fair opportunity. I mean, if I don’t win, I don’t win but I’m not a queen.”
Red Lion’s prom is this Saturday, and voting for king and queen is now closed.