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Rock on and congratulations to Jennifer Jones, the lesbian at Maryland’s Hood College that was voted in as Homecoming King. But I have to take note that CNN thought this was newsworthy. I mean, this isn’t the first case of a GLBT student running for Prom/Homecoming/whatever Court on a cross-gender ballot. She’s probably not the first GLBT person to win, either. It’s very cool, but… is it news?

At first, it seems like it is; if Hood is any indication, liberal arts students support GLBT efforts to stake out a place for themselves in the straight world. This projects into a future where we can imagine more and more people being a-ok for us queer folk. That’s cool. It’s a sociological indicator of where the nation is headed, yeah? Right?

…Sort of? What I found more interesting was the stats they gave: Jones won 64 out of 169 votes for Homecoming King. That’s not terribly overwhelming as a win. And from Hood’s website, there were 2,121 students enrolled at Hood in the fall of 2005. 169 total votes out of a student body of 2,121; that’s about 8% voter turnout for the King ballot. The real news here is that liberal arts students don’t give a fuck about Homecoming. And when you crunch a couple other numbers, it says 3% of students actively wanted a lesbian Homecoming King. That’s not much of a reason to celebrate.

If we want news to make us feel good about the future of GLBTs in this country, how about something more concrete? I want to see headlines like Gay man totally beats the shit out of his would-be gay-basher, or Rad lesbian does her thing in rural Alabama, or She’s brilliant, she’s post-op, she’s the Senator.

Jones deserves a better headline. She’s the homecoming king isn’t cool. A better one would be Young lesbian figures out early on how to game the system, is prepared for a richer life because of it.

(Cross-posted since it fit in both places.)

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One Comment

  1. Well done J, I hate how the news abuses statistics, like all the time…

    I especially like the observation that most people at a school do not care about that kind of stuff.


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