High school can be a whirlwind, but as you prepare to say goodbye to your classmates and embark on your adult life, one of the last big celebrations is definitely prom. Annie Wise and her girlfriend Riley Loudermilk went together to the big event and were overwhelmed with joy when their senior classmates elected them as prom king and queen. While they were absolutely thrilled by the gesture of love and acceptance, there were some parents that were less than happy with their win.
- Riley and Annie have known one another since third grade. They only started dating about six months ago, but they’re incredibly happy together and aren’t afraid to show it. That’s why being crowned prom king and queen at Kings High School in Kings Mills, Ohio was such a big deal to them. “It was so cool — it was like loud screaming, lots of tears,” Annie recalled to NBC News.
- They had no idea they would win. While they knew some of their friends had put their names forward for the title, they thought there was no way that they’d get enough votes to actually win. “Usually prom king and queen is like a popularity contest, and neither of us are really on that popularity spectrum,” Riley explained. After “a lot of screaming and jumping,” Riley basked in the moment she says will forever remain with her. “My crown fell off and it broke. There was a lot going on, but it’s something I’ll never forget. It was amazing,” she said.
- They’re the first LGBTQI+ couple to be elected prom king and queen in the district. The Kings Local School District was happy for Riley and Annie as well, so they shared a photo of the couple on their Facebook page to encourage others to share in their congratulations. It wasn’t long before the post began picking up steam, with more than 2,000 comments and 400 shares from people across the country, many of whom applauded the girls for embracing themselves and their classmates for embracing them too.
- Some parents had to ruin things, of course. While not entirely unsurprising, it’s certainly sad to see that some people couldn’t just be happy for Riley and Annie and had to try and rain on their parade. The school district suddenly started to struggle with being able to keep up with the need to delete the negative and hateful comments, one of which claimed the girls “need Jesus.”
- The issue even came up at a school board meeting. According to WLWT, one parent said, “Sorry, but I believe that there are still two genders, a male and a female. That same parent added: “I think tradition stands for a queen that has a vagina, a king that has a penis and testicles.”
- However, the school is standing by Riley and Annie. “This is solely a Kings High School senior class nominated and voted-on initiative,” said Dawn Goulding, a community relations coordinator for the school district, as per WLWT5. As for Riley and Annie, they just think it’s weird that adults have nothing better to do than to bash teenagers. I agree! Congrats to the happy couple!