Can We Stop It With The Gay Male Prom Queens Already?

Sanford High School senior Christian Nelsen and his boyfriend Caleb Jett just got crowned prom king and queen. Ugh.

Look, we get it. Hooray for bucking patriarchal traditions while raising awareness about equal rights and gender equity! And good on Jett for winning prom queen through a bunch of write-ins. Fun, fun. OK, fine.

But even though proms are elitist, sexist bullshit, the idea of a gay guy denying a young woman a shot at the tiara just to make a point has always seemed odd, over-privileged, and even a tad misogynist (to me anyway). Why should women have to lose just for a man to make a point about gay rights? It seems unfair, but I’m probably over-reacting.

Imagine if Nelson the prom king and Jett his date stood onstage with the prom queen and her date. Homos and heteros ruling the high school in peace—now there’s a photo op.

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  • Erich

    Normally I’d agree with you, but this took place in Sanford, Maine. People think that all of New England is liberal but it’s not. I’m from Maine originally, and Sanford is not exactly a glbt-friendly community. I think it’s great that this happened there.

  • Jared

    It’s about equality dumb ass. There should be prom king x2 or prom king and queen for a gay website this is a very anti-gay article go back to your christian anti-gay therapy freak. Gays should be able to have special nights too.

  • Zach

    I actually agree with you for a couple of reasons. One, is that this feels like it continues to propitiate the “gay guys wanting to be queens” stereotype and second the fact that the we hear about gay males being nominated prom queens enough that it’s become a bit cliche; I mean it’s been done. What would be different is if a lesbian was voted prom king, which we really don’t hear as often as we do this.

  • ashton cruz

    I dont know about you guys but no matter how popular I may be or not I would never would like to be crowned Prom Queen. Why cant there be two kings?

  • Alex

    They can crown lesbians or trannies too. So how is that “denying a young woman a shot at the tiara” or “[…]women have to lose just for a man to make a point about gay rights” ?

  • Vast Variety

    “but I’m probably over-reacting”

    Bingo, we have a winner.

  • QJ201

    Can we stop it with bitchy uncredited stories already?

  • Reggie

    “Why should women have to lose just for a man to make a point about gay rights? It seems unfair, but I’m probably over-reacting.”

    yes, yes you are.. it’s high school prom.. not the Miss USA Pagaent

  • Stereotype

    Thank you! I’m SO sick of the gay men = woman stereotypes, it’s insulting. I think crowning a gay man prom KING (instead of the straight jock stereotype) would be more progress.

  • TomMc

    What matters is that the students in this school chose that couple to represent their class at the prom. Yeah, the heteronormative is kinda gross and all, but those teens who picked these two are “the voice of the future”. Good for them!

  • Daniel

    @QJ201: My name’s at the bottom of the story, reader rabbit.

  • Caliban

    It’s the Queen part that bugs me, not that some poor girl is being “cheated”(?!) out being her school’s pretty pretty princess for a day. To me it just feeds into the stereotype that gay men (boys) really want to be or are like women. If you’re an MtF transgender person that might be an honor but even the so-called effeminate gay men I know don’t want to be women, as they quite enjoy their “twig and berries,” thank you very much.

    But at least in this case it was a gay COUPLE who got the honor, regardless of the archaic King and Queen BS.

  • Peter

    Wow. This is one shockingly stupid article and/or “reasoning” (though to call this reasoning is ridiculous). And I reserve this kind of labeling for religious extremists and hateful/violent bigots. So congrats. To think I was actually happy when I found out Queerty wasn’t shutting down after all. The article is homophobic and absurd at best, and you should be embarassed to have thought of it. I won’t check on this site again and advice everyone I know about the “quality” of it’s articles. Cheers.

  • JAW

    Damn… I agree with Daniel (aka Queerty)… perhaps in coming years we will have a guy as queen and girl as King… Enough all ready.

    If the kids want to elect a couple as, I don’t know, some non gender, non sextist, non homophobic, non hetrophobic, non malephobic, non felmalephobic, non transphobic, non queerphobic, nonreligiousphobic… did I forget anybody???

    Yes I want everyone to love us all… but each time we shove things down peoples throats, we get pushback from many of our supporters.

  • Devington

    “proms are elitist, sexist bullshit”

    Lol, sounds like someone was sitting home alone on prom night.

  • Roger Rabbit

    Wow, and I thought proms were just for chicks and gay guys who want to show off??

  • Eric

    I only read Queerty because it’s the least horrific of the gay news outlets (and The Advocate just posts crap about HRC et al.). I dunno though, I might have to put up with the terrible format of Towelroad after reading some of the recent journalistic abortions of Baume and Villarreal.

  • Red Meat

    A gay as a prom queen is a joke no matter what, unless he is actually a drag queen or transsexual/transgender.

  • George412

    The guys in the pictures look like lesbians.

  • Zeus

    It is kind of unfair for a girl to be able to win prom queen (something a lot of girls dream of *yuk*). Give the ladies a chance!

  • McMike

    If Queerty doesn’t stop it’s constant bitching about bullshite I’m going to stop coming here. When Taylor Swift made a video against bullying it was “Should she be making money off of us?” instead of an article praising her for highlighting the problem. Now that a school has been so progressive the elect a GAY COUPLE to the thrones it’s “Does one have to be the queen?”

    Grow the f*ck up Queerty.

    It is completely amazing two gay guys were able to be elected as the “power couple” of their high school. To break it down and twist it into another bitch-fest is almost beyond worth coming back to this site.

    Maybe Queerty’s server crash the other month should have been permanent.

  • marsha

    This story was told inaccurately:

    Caleb Jett won prom king.
    Christian Nelsen won prom queen.

    They were an openly gay couple out to break the tradition of heterosexual couples being the only candidates who could win as couples.

    This is a fantastic change, and will hopefully inspire schools to rethink the traditional views that limit a selection to a “king” and “queen”

  • Will

    Not to down on some high schoolers, but if these kids (the gays & friends who wrote-in) were really trying to ‘buck patriarchy’ and make a statement they could work to have the King/Queen tradition done away with. Instead, they went with copypasta.

  • Matthew

    You’re annoying.

    Lots of couples campaign together so this was more a message of supporting gay rights and pointing out a flaw in the gender confining restrictions of “prom king” and “prom queen”.

    Plus using you’re argument, the entire system denies trans people even the right to run.

    I think the whole idea message behind this movement is to push against gender stereotypes. So back the fuck off.

  • Allen


    I agree with you. I don’t think a man should have the title of Prom Queen. This guy’s win is about extending male privilege. I could understand if a trangender woman won. That would make sense. But this just seems like another example of men taking something from women.

  • Robbie K

    It’s all about the sash really…

  • DavyJones

    Urm, the idea of “enough already” would be suitable if all high schools were actually one big high school, and they were just doing it over and over. Since they aren’t and this is actually several different high schools where gay couples have managed to win the ballot, your message of ‘enough already’ is quite off the mark. It might look to you like a bunch of people doing the same thing over and over; but for these guys this is *their* high school doing something they’ve not done before.

    Any for your idea of depriving some deserving girl of the title of Prom Queen; who’s to say this guy isn’t just as deserving? He obviously got enough votes to win. In any election like this some people win, many more lose; thems the breaks…

  • Mike

    I understand both sides of the argument, but seriously people, its high school PROM.

    Honestly who really cares, because chances are, none of these kids will remember who had what title in high school in 15 years.

  • JustMeee

    Look out, your website’s backsliding already into the snarky unreadable mess it was a few months ago.

  • Tim


    Is this supposed to be a “news” site? It just always seems like faux outrage.

  • Question

    It may be a bit misogynistic, and could be a new trend for male privilege occurring, but here is something to ponder… maybe it could be the opposite. It could be more misogynistic to assume that a female would ever want to win a tiara.

    If it has not been mentioned before, how about crowning a female homosexual couples and perhaps that would do the trick for both issues.


  • Mainer

    I used to go to school with Christian. First of all, this article got it wrong. Christian was queen, Caleb was king. Second, a lot of older people in the town are NOT happy about Christian getting queen, for the same reasoning that “it denied a girl the crown”/the fact that the high school supports them as a couple. I can tell you from experience that the kids in Sanford do not care about the prom queen or king, which is probably why Christian and Caleb got overwhelming support. They were voted in by the school. They were something different. Maybe the two or three girls who were also running may have been mildly disappointed, but chances are, they were friends with Christian too and probably wanted to see him win.

    People forget that these two weren’t doing it to get famous. They were battling the traditions in my very old school town. They were trying to get Sanford to move forward. It just happened to spread around the internet.

  • JayKay

    The outrage over this is ridiculous. I’m sure that if the story were about a lesbian winning prom king, you wouldn’t be complaining about that lesbian stealing the title away from some poor deserving boy. If anything it would probably be celebrated.

    Go back to your wymynyst studies class and let the high schoolers vote for whoever they want.

  • Jeffree

    I’m looking forward to the first hetero male Prom Queen. Ideally, he would also be the captain of the soccer team & the leading man in all Drama Club productions, too.

    Having his King be a very butch bi girl would be a nice touch, but let’s not get ahead ourselves.

  • Bobby Christina Crawford

    To answer the question. Yes.

  • Godiva

    I think it’s sweet, and it’s voted by students, so that’s clearly what they wanted. Political statements aside, it’s democracy, and if they wanted a girl to win, a girl would win.

  • Sigh

    First of all you guys all should stop your bitching about the website dont like dont go on it second of all we all have our different opinions about this article no sense in arguing about wether or not the writers should be acting so biast in stating the news if a guy is elected prom queen so wat honestly if the kids voted on it then it was their choice this is just some news site that states opinions about real events and your just the readers that feel like you should give your opinions when no one really cares in the first place.

  • BobC562


    I’m from Maine as well (Bangor) and frankly, this is such a huge breakthrough just from the fact that gays are actually acknowledged and not being harassed for being themselves. I mean, two openly gay kids being voted anything? Would’ve never happened when I was growing up. And yeah, I think you’re over-reacting just a tad.

  • Carrie White

    “Why should women have to lose just for a man to make a point about gay rights?”

    But the man didn’t make the point, the entire school voting did. And most of them would be straight.

  • spider_orchid

    Wow, really? Whoever (or WHATEVER) wrote this article sounds PRESSED. Unclench and appreciate the fact that these two kids had a good time and didn’t get gay bashed or harassed.

  • samthor

    i find it hard to believe that the gays have stolen SO MANY prom queen positions across America that this is an actual problem…

  • Question

    @ Daniel Villarreal
    This just in Queerty!!


    Now… what’s the problem here Queerty. Well I guess the kids are breaking down all the barriers when it comes to electing Prom Kings and Queens. They are not staying within the expected margins and are doing so by electing males as prom queens and recognizing that all females are not born biologically as so.

    I think this issue can now be tabled Queerty…

  • Toby Grace

    A poster above noted that this article indicates Queerty is indeed slipping back into its former, snarky bitchy format – the one that contributed so significantly to its demise. Haven’t learned any lessons, have you? First, your dismissal of proms in general as sexist, etc., is absurd. Proms are a dance – a first chance to really dress up and a rite-of-passage ritual. Most kids really look forward to them and have a great time. Wet blankets and wall flowers are the unfortunate exceptions. Shall we speculate regarding which group the author of this nasty little article was in? The aroma of sour grapes pervades this piece. Next we have the complaints about the “archaic” use of the king and queen titles. Oh come on people! Get serious! This is a high school dance, not an exercise in political theory. Then we go on to the issue of the use of the title “queen” for a male. Another tempest in a teapot.The boy wanted the title. He put in for it,he was awarded it by his classmates. Case closed. The salient fact here is that these high school students were able to rise above gender distinctions and consider the hopes and qualities of the specific individuals involved. Then we have the objection that it denied a female the chance to be queen. Since the article already dismissed proms as retrogressive, this seems a vacuous objection from the point of view of internal consistency. Regardless of that, it is also a baseless one. Female students were not denied the chance to compete. The students made the decision by ballot. Had a female captured their attention successfully, she would no doubt have been elected. This is called democracy. My advice to the author is pick on someone your own size and leave the kids alone to have their fun. Finally, I would say that if this downright mean article is going to be the tone of the new queerty, count me out as a reader.

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