Prom ‘queen’ may look different in 20 years

Published 9:56 am Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Let’s role play two decades into the future.

As a member of the Fairfax High School (Los Angeles) class of 2009, you just arrived for your 20-year class reunion.

From the very moment you sign the guestbook and indulge in the light-hearted atmosphere of booze and lies, you take in the sweet memories of yesterday, catching up with former best friends with whom you have long since lost touch.

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Pictures of the past take the present back to better times when life wasn’t so demanding. There’s the photo of Dustin, who is now a Baptist preacher, sporting jet black nails and matching hair. There’s the shot of Jennifer, the straight-laced, straight-A valedictorian who now owns six tattoos, four kids and a tongue ring.

Reliving that most special time in your life is an exhilarating experience bordered by equal parts of pride and embarrassment.

Then, the truest form of embarrassment rears its ugly head. You notice the photo that put your high school in the national news in 2009. His name is Sergio Garcia and he was your prom queen.

Sergio spent most of his years at Fairfax High openly gay. He tested the waters of tolerance at your school and found the temperature to be of his liking. “I’m not your typical prom queen candidate,” you may recall him saying to the student body in a decidedly deeper baritone than the other candidates.

No doubt.

A “typical” prom queen candidate wouldn’t have to worry about a five o’clock shadow.

Garcia didn’t run as a joke. He was totally serious, though many who voted for him may not have been so serious.

Suddenly you remember holding a ballot in your hand as you poked Nathan in home room and said, “Dude, vote for him. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if he won? The first dance would be with another guy.”

Later, when the results were boomed over the school’s intercom system, you laughed out loud. “He won!,” you roared, giving high fives to your buddies.

As Sergio gleefully accepted his crown and stepped with pride through your grand march, you laughed because you were a factor in this debacle. You pushed to elect a queen who couldn’t legally enter the girl’s restroom.

“Man, I’ll never forget this,” you thought at the time.

Continuing with the role play, you went on to college, obtained a degree and landed a promising position with a great firm. Along the way, you met the love of your life, married her and had children. As you gaze upon the picture of Sergio wearing his queenly crown, a photo your children have noticed in your yearbook and questioned intensively, you wonder if a prom queen with male genitalia was such a great idea.

Then, because you once prided yourself on being liberal minded, you think about the day your teenage son came out of the bathroom wearing mascara, lipstick and nail polish. When you questioned him about his appearance he pointed to that yearbook and the photo of the male queen surrounded by throngs of well-wishers. You were one of them.

And then you got the uneasy feeling of wondering if your son may be a future prom queen.

Enjoy the reunion.

Billy Bruce is a freelance writer who lives in Pedro. He can be contacted at or by visiting his website,