SOMERVILLE (CBS) — Like many seniors at Somerville High School, students Learsi Ferrer and Miranda Melanson were looking forward to their prom last Friday.
The night included music, dancing, and for these two girls, a historic moment.
Ferrer and Melanson were voted by their peers to be the first royalty couple of a Somerville HS prom.
Last spring, Class of 2017 student government voted to change the titles of prom king and prom queen to the royalty couple, in an effort to be more inclusive.
The initiative began when Melanson explained to the class advisor, Kevin Dua, that she wished there to be a way for herself and her girlfriend to win a prom court position as a couple, instead of as individuals under the gender-fixated system.
That was before the junior semi-formal; the girls would go on to be crowned as royalty couple at that dance.
“Everybody seems to be very excited that this happened two years in a row,” Ferrer told WBZ NewsRadio 1030. “Everybody is very welcoming about it and happy that it happened.”
Melanson agreed that everyone at school has been supportive, and said the two-time royalty couple winners have become a “symbol for openness” within the gay community.
“I’ve had people that I don’t even talk to come up to me and be like ‘wow, you made me feel [a lot] better about myself because of what you’ve done for us.'” Melanson recalled.
She hopes the royalty couple title in Somerville will set an example for other schools.
“I think it’s really good for our school that we get to change these things, and hopefully impact other schools too,” she said. “I want it to be more open, so some kids, like myself, they feel more confidence and feel like they have a role in their school.”
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports
Class advisor and history teacher Kevin Dua said this highlights the sincerity of the girls, but also of the whole student body.
“The fact that students, not teachers, not administrators, but students were the ones who wanted to see this positive, inclusive change take place says a lot about who they are as individuals,” Dua said.
“I think the reaction has been great– and by great I mean normal. I think the fact that students have been excited is one thing, but that it also speaks to how accepting many people extends.”