Lesbian Couple Crowned Prom King and Queen
Noel-Marie Kot and Miranda Haeick came out as lesbians and as a couple at Northwest Career and Technical Academy in Las Vegas in February. And on April 28, at this year's "Secret Garden", jungle-themed prom, Noel-Marie and Miranda were named King and Queen (respectively) of their prom.
"No girl wants to be 'king'. But since I'm a little more outspoken than my girlfriend, we felt I would be able to handle everything that came with the title -- good and bad," said Kot. Although it was their friends who came up with the idea for them to be nominated, thanks to Twitter, word got out at the school and before they knew it, Kot and Haeick were on the ballot, and garnering more nominations than any of their fellow nominees.
They found strong support in classmates and teachers like John Arfuso, a hospitality, marketing and entrepreneurship instructor, who offered his perspective that letting the girls' fellow students make the choice was "the best and fairest option."
"Personally, I think the world of both Noel-Marie and Miranda. They are both exceptional young ladies," said Arfuso. "As for their being nominated and eventually voted prom king and queen, I have always been a proponent of letting people decide and voice their opinions on their own without being suppressed. In this case, the students of NWCTA voiced their opinions and sent out a resounding message that they could care less about gender in terms of our prom... Had the general populace of the school been non-supportive, they simply would not have voted in favor of them winning."
While they found support, they also encountered resistance by some students and faculty at the school when Kot's name was first announced as a nominee for king. One teacher, after reading her name on the ballots for king, reportedly asked the class if it was a joke. When told it wasn't, he allegedly refused to hand out any more ballots, assuring the class that she would never be allowed to stay on the ballot.
There was talk of ballots being reprinted without Kot's name on them, but undeterred, Kot went to meet with the assistant principal and dean of the school and fought to stay on the ballot. After finding that nowhere in the rule books did it state that the king of the prom needed to be male gendered, Kot was allowed to stay on the ballot. The couple eventually went on to win.
"The night of prom, my girlfriend and I (along with the rest of the court nominees) were called to the center of the stage," said Kot. "Everyone was crowded around awaiting the final results. Silence filled the room and the girl on the microphone announced, '2012 senior prom royalty is... Noel-Marie Kot and Miranda Haeick.' Everybody went ballistic. People were crying. Everybody was taking pictures of us. I couldn't even speak. We were both crowned and danced for the first time as Prom King and Queen."
Throughout the history of the LGBT community, there have been minor and major fights, wins, and losses. Even now in an election year we see the leaders and potential leaders of our country bringing LGBT issues into the fray in an effort to get votes (regardless whether they are for or against equality). But at Northwest Career and Technical Academy the voters spoke and voted their school's openly lesbian couple Noel-Marie Kot and Miranda Haeick king and queen.
"The fact that Noel-Marie and Miranda remained true to themselves is very commendable and is almost certain to help pave the way for future students struggling with self-acceptance issues throughout our nation's educational environment," said L. Champeau, a health education specialist at the school.
Kot and Haeick may have made history, but like most high school seniors, they're looking toward the future. They're planning on moving with their friend Freddy to California to go to college. Haeick hopes to be studying cinematography and Kot is going for a career in law (which should surprise no one, as it was Kot herself who brought their story to the media's attention,)
When asked for advice she would give other LGBT teens, Kot offered this to her peers: "If you want it bad, don't give up. Deal with any problems along the way peacefully. Don't let anybody get the best of you."