Gay Students Wanting to Be Seen

The organization eventually wrote the school and said they were violating students' rights, citing the Fricke v. Lynch case. The 1980 decision, which was argued before the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island, upheld the right of gay students to take a same-sex date to a school dance.

Crowell told ABC News on Campus that a week after the ACLU brought the matter to the school's attention, school officials removed the stipulation and posted a revised announcement around campus.

"You can generally say that schools aren't ready," Presgraves said. "There are some that are taking the necessary steps but it depends on where [students] live to determine what they're getting."

But there have been some royal endings, most notably at the collegiate level.

In late October, 21-year-old Jessee Vasold, a "gender-queer" student at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., who doesn't identify as either male or female, was crowned the school's first transgender homecoming queen.

And George Mason University student Ryan Allen experienced a victory of his own in February when he was elected homecoming queen. His drag queen persona, "Reann Ballslee," won by a popular vote.

Allen, 23, who goes only by Ballslee when he is performing, said his identity was not much of an issue for most of the student body.

"Having the title of 'Ms. Mason 2009' has been fun," said Allen, who graduated from the university in August. "I know that because of my participation and winning of the pageant, I was able to represent people who never felt represented by the blonde Barbie sorority girls and uber-macho males."

Male and Female Representation

Allen said that since the coronation, he has received e-mail from members of the LGBT community thanking him for serving as an inspiration. When asked about the vote at the University of North Texas, Allen said it reinforces the notion that these individuals are second-class citizens.

"The thing about members of the LGBT community being involved in homecoming," Allen said, "is that it shows that everyone, no matter what group or identity they have, is a part of the bigger university community."

Diedrick Brackens, president of the Gay and Lesbian Association of Denton, said he had an inclination the measure wouldn't pass but was still surprised that 42 percent of the 13.5 percent of students who voted were willing to give same-sex and gender-neutral couples the opportunity to run for next year's court.

Because of the election, however, the university's student senate cannot introduce legislation that would challenge the results until after next year's homecoming proceedings.

"Let's take a male couple running for king and queen," Terrell of Equality Texas said. "You're not dealing with sexual orientation, the vote seems to be one about gender-bending roles. I agree, it is just a popularity contest but why rule that kids can't run?"

Before the special election, Dakota Carter, North Texas' student body president, said, "The ultimate issue isn't that we told gay students they couldn't run, they have every right to run. It's just that we're trying to recognize male and female representation."

Carter, 21, who is openly gay himself, said both the university and its student government remained neutral throughout the entire process, only encouraging students to voice their opinions.

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