Homecoming 2021: More than just football

Emma Halman, Co-editor

“Your homecoming royal is…Ella Schumacher!”

Following the initial rapturous applause, the stands were silent. Or about as silent as over 500 people collectively holding their breath can be.

“Your homecoming queen is…”

The anticipation of the crowd grew with each passing second. The joy felt after Schumacher’s name was called was about to either be multiplied or completely snuffed out.

“Bronnie Bai-”

Before the announcer could finish his words, the crowd erupted into cheers. As Bailey stepped forward to receive her crown and stand beside her girlfriend, it appeared as if no one could stop celebrating this monumental victory, including the other members of the court. Emotions running high, the shock was apparent on both Bailey’s and Schumacher’s faces as they looked out at their classmates whose support brought them to this moment.   

This historic moment marks the first time PA has allowed the top two voted students to be crowned homecoming royalty, rather than electing a king and queen. While it is a major step in fostering a more LGBTQ+ inclusive environment, this win did not come without its challenges.

Bronnie Bailey and Ella Schumacher after being crowned. Courtesy of Lauren Layne.

 Despite allowing Bailey and Schumacher to win, they were not allowed to ride in the same car. For the first time ever, each member of the senior homecoming court had to ride separately, despite their best effort to be together. This decision went against the past standard of couples on court automatically being paired together.

Still, their win has provided Bailey and Schumacher with the opportunity to be a voice for a community within the school that is less represented.

According to Bailey, “It felt like Ella and I represented a movement toward change and acceptance at our school. My face hurt because I was smiling so much.”

Further, Schumacher comments, “While it may just be high school homecoming court to some, I really hope this opens a doorway of opportunities for queer students at PA in the future.”