William & Mary College Crown First Transgender Homecoming Queen
The first time in the college's history they crowned a transgendered queen, junior Jessee Vasold. Vasold identifies as "gender-queer", a term for those who don't adhere to either strictly mail or strictly female gender roles.
William and Mary president Taylor Reveley had no problem with Vasold's selection, made in nominations and direct voting by students.
"I knew Jessee before," he said. "(It's) a little more publicity than normal for a homecoming queen, but it's just fine."
Vasold said everybody had been supportive. "I've only had people congratulating me. I know that one of my friends was in a conversation with someone who didn't think that it was fair that I was able to run, because I'm not female-bodied," the new queen told the student newspaper, The Flat Hat. "But it generated a really good conversation, so they were able to talk about a lot of different things."
Students were asked to describe how their nominees exemplified school pride, junior class president Mike Tsidulko told The Flat Hat.
He said there are no rules against men or women running for opposite gender roles.
Vasold is the student assembly undersecretary of diversity initiatives for the college's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs. Last year, Vasold was co-president of the Lambda Alliance, the school's GLBT advocacy group.
"I got a lot of support from the people I know," Vasold said.
Students at William and Mary were supportive of their new homecoming queen Saturday.
"I just heard about it today. I think it's a good development. This is a fairly liberal college," said Jim Zadick, a law student.
Andrew Hass, another law student, agreed the election of a transgender homecoming queen was a "good thing."
Other students questioned outside the law school were equally supportive.
The College of William & Mary was Chartered on February 8, 1693, by King William III and Queen Mary II. It is the second-oldest institution of higher education in the United States.