Main | Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Kids Are Alright

From Kansas, a really sweet story about a gay homecoming king:
There's no way I'm homecoming king. No way, he thought. Sarah helped him walk to the middle of the stage, where Laura Wetzel, the queen, crowned him and gave him a big hug. "That's awesome, Matthew!" she said.

Matthew's cheeks were red, and his face hurt from smiling so much. Looking out, he waved to his mom, who was jumping up and down. He saw Serena, perched on someone's shoulders, clapping and yelling loudly. He and Laura posed for pictures, and then they walked out of the gym with their court following.

Out in the hallway, he was mobbed by people congratulating him. His mom rushed up and started taking pictures. She knew how much he wanted to be nominated and how much his win meant. "I'm just so proud of you!" she said. He was a little surprised that she attended homecoming, but for the rest of senior year, she attended more events and games than before.

Matthew didn't realize just how many people he knew until they all congratulated him after his victory. In the meantime, James was overwhelmed. After meeting at least 20 people, he said, "I cannot believe how many people you know." After that night, he got a ton of friend requests.

Looking back, Matthew describes that night. "It was just," he says and then pauses, searching for the right words, "all happy."

Wherever he goes from here, the memory of homecoming will help carry him through: "It was the ultimate feeling of being accepted. I'll be going on now for the rest of my life having that experience. Everyone accepted me, so it's really cool."
The headline in the Kansas City Pitch reads: "The Shawnee Mission East class of '08 loves its gay homecoming king."

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