High school homecoming is a fall rite of passage, and this year one lesbian couple earned the first “princess and princess” title at a school in Portland, Ore.
Laurel Osborne and Sophia Schoenfeld were named to Cleveland High School’s homecoming court in a move the school’s principal said “speaks volumes.”
Unlike other high schools, Cleveland takes a different approach to nominating school royalty. Each class selects six people for the court, and the candidates then participate in a relay to determine which couple will be crowned king and queen, with the remaining contenders dubbed princes and princesses.
Osborne and Schoenfeld, who were nominated by their senior class, were the first duo in the school’s history to gain the title of “princess and princess.”While they failed to capture the first “queen and queen” accolade, they rode the “royalty float” during the homecoming parade and basked in the congratulations from teachers and peers.
“At first, I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. I thought, ‘That’s cool.’ But there was an article written about it and it was really cool when I noticed how much of an impact it had,” Schoenfeld told KPTV. “A lot of teachers came up to us and said, ‘Congratulations, it’s a really big step.’”
Osborne and Schoenfeld said their classmates were excited for them, and it seems their first-of-its-kind win escaped controversy.
The Clarion, the high school’s student newspaper, reported that “the real win for homecoming this year was for the senior lesbian couple who were voted by their classmates as class princess and princess, an event never before seen at Cleveland.”
The student-run outlet quoted school staff members who praised the development. Camille Adana, the school’s activities director, said the school is “educated with the times,” and principal Paul Cook said Cleveland’s first gay nomination “speaks volumes.”
The school received praise from outside its walls as well.
A blogger for the Willamette Week called the nomination “another sign most millennials don’t think twice about sexual orientation.”
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