The student body of Northern Arizona University has turned the hallowed stereotypes of homecoming inside out. Kathleen Short has been crowned the school’s 2012 Homecoming King, and the Homecoming Queen’s tiara, as decreed by popular vote, is gracing the head of self-proclaimed drag queen Tony Pena.
Historically, homecoming has been a time of exclusion and marginalization for outsiders on campus. It says as much about the scholars of Northern Arizona University as it does about Short and Pena that these two homecoming aspirants felt secure and included enough to step forward and gather the 300 signatures required from each on their candidate’s petitions.
The idea of filing as king was initially presented to Short by Pena, which left him with the option of—rather than vying against his friend—running for queen.
Short, in the NBC affiliate video above, says that it’s good to be king: “It just feels a lot better. It’s a lot more comfortable. It’s more me.”
“I’m personally a drag queen,” confides Tony, rocking his tiara, “so a lot of people remembered me from that, and they were just like, ‘Oh, this is so awesome. You’re totally a queen.’ Because I think I’m a queen.”
The royal couple might have started their reign as juniors, or even in sophomore year, according to Kathleen Short: “In all reality, if we knew how accepting they were this whole time, like we could have taken over this campus a long time ago.”
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- Royal Families
- Northern Arizona University
- Tony Pena