Boy allowed to run for homecoming queen after high school initially denies request

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — An Orange County high school student said he wants to be homecoming queen, but school administrators initially wouldn’t allow it because of his gender.

That changed when Channel 9’s Mike Manzoni began asking questions about the policy.

The school is now reversing its decision, saying the policy will allow Anthony Martinez to run for homecoming queen and the principal who told the boy he couldn’t run never consulted with the district’s central office.

Martinez said he became emotional when he was told he couldn’t run for homecoming queen. His boyfriend, Joncarlo Medina, wants to run for homecoming king.

Martinez was first told by Cypress Creek High School Principal John McHale he couldn’t run for queen because he’s a boy.

“I started crying. Like, it made me really emotional considering how hard I was trying to be queen,” Martinez said.

When Manzoni contacted the school district for answers, a spokesperson said Martinez is eligible to run for the king or queen position.

The spokesperson said McHale, “Did not consult with the central office, but made what he thought was an appropriate decision at the time.”

Orange County Public Schools’ anti-discrimination policy says the district cannot discriminate against students on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Martinez said he’s glad to know he can now run for the position.

“I just feel it’s phenomenal,” said Martinez. “I feel like you guys convinced them”

The principal sent Manzoni an email Tuesday night saying that after further research, he realized any student may run for either homecoming king or queen.

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