Issak Oliver Wolfe, a senior at Red Lion Area Senior High School in York, Pennsylvania, decided to run for prom king earlier this month. Issak is a trans student and is widely accepted and well liked by his classmates and teachers. Having the full support of the student body behind him, he felt he had a great chance of winning.
It was only until the official ballots came out that Issak saw his name had been switched back to his birth name and put into the girls’ category. The Red Lion’s new principal, Mark Shue, was “uncomfortable” with the idea of a trans male being crowned prom king.
Issak’s amazing sister, Cheyenne, has started a Change.org petition to raise awareness about the situation and help Isaak be crowned homecoming King and have his name pronounced correctly at graduation. The petition already has 2,300 signatures. The petition reads:
We are trying to bring attention to this story so that people out there in Issaks’ position know they are not alone, and so that my boyfriend has the chance to stand up on stage wearing the crown he deserves, with the prom king sash firmly across his shoulder. We are trying to shed light on the bigotry and closed mindsets of our small town of Red Lion. We must let Mr. Shue know that his discrimination will not be tolerated.
“My family and girlfriend started a facebook support page Issak Oliver Wolfe for Red Lion Prom King because we didn’t know what else we could do. I feel so cheated,” said Issak.
According to Planet Transgender:
Issak recalled the morning in a email: “I made flyers to hand out and when I went to vote I did see my name had been removed.” When Issak asked why he was told by a vice Principal he couldn’t run for Prom King because “it was based on sex not gender and he would not allow me to.”
Blindsided, Issak recalls “No one warned me. I didn’t speak with the new Principal, Mr Shue at first out of fear. I was told by someone with inside knowledge that it wouldn’t help me at all so I didn’t to save my self the intense stress. They closed voting the next day for court so I didn’t get the chance to appeal.”
Issak talks about how this might affect his remaining school year. “I have not been treated differently so far at my school but as soon as local media has gotten statements from me I think they might. I don’t think any teacher here would treat me differently. All the teachers I interact with are great people.”
You can imagine how dehumanizing and devastating this would be for a young man. Heartbroken Issak asked principal Mr. Mark Shue later why the name and categories were changed. Issak was told by Mr. Shue his reasoning for not allowing him to run for prom king with his authentic name and gender was because he ‘felt uncomfortable with it.’