Last month, a Tallahassee high school crowned its first ever gay couple as prom king and queen.
The couple, Lindsey Creel and Brie Grimes, are seniors at Leon High School in Tallahassee and have been dating for three years. Though they were happy to win the title, the pair is more excited about the impact their crowning will have on the LGBT community at their school.
“It feels good to know some of the things we’ve been a part of can help others going through tough experiences, in a positive way,” Grimes told the Tallahassee Democrat.
“I needed someone in my life to show me that it would work out—when I was first going through this years ago. But I didn’t have that.”
“I hope that people will look at this and more will begin to think that it’s okay to be supportive of the LBTQ community,” Creel added.
“Leon often talks about change. This is a good example for younger students there.”
Even as Grimes and Creel found great comfort in one another throughout their time at Leon, they both admit to feelings of loneliness and isolation at the school, especially in their first years after coming out. Leon has had a gay-straight alliance since 2001, but the climate hasn't always been entirely supportive.
Scott Brown, who advises Leon's GSA, says that the move to elect Brie and Lindsey as prom king and queen is a big step forward for the school.
“It makes me feel proud to know that the majority of Leon students are open-minded and agree with today’s changing mores,” the history teacher said.
“Leon may be a traditional school, but we can be known as progressive.”
In general, the response to the pair's crowning has been resoundingly positive, with many taking to social media to express support for the couple. Perhaps the most touching reaction came from Brie's mother, who posted a photo of Brie and Lindsey on Instagram along with a moving caption.
"Brie, who cares very much about equality, feminism and having no gender lines is proud of her school and graduating class for recognizing love has no gender rules," it begins.
"As Brie's mom I am proud of her for choosing love, for being bold and sticking to the things she believes in even if they are different than mine and much of the world. She is a beautiful person and made a gorgeous prom queen."
Leon High School Prom 2016 will go down in the history books! Not only is it Brie's senior prom, but also because she won Prom Queen and her girlfriend, Lindsey, Prom King. Leon High is the oldest high school in the State of Florida, being established in 1831, and is in the US National Register of Historic Places. Tonight they crowned their first same sex couple as Prom Queen and King. Brie, who cares very much about equality, feminism and having no gender lines is proud of her school and graduating class for recognizing love has no gender rules. As Brie's mom I am proud of her for choosing love, for being bold and sticking to the things she believes in even if they are different than mine and much of the world. She is a beautiful person and made a gorgeous prom queen with a sharp prom king!! @briebrieg #nofilter #leonhighprom2016 #thisisourlife #keepingitreal
Congratulations Brie and Lindsey!