Sergio Garcia of Fairfax High ran for Prom Queen after noticing that the qualifications did not include sex. After giving a speech that convinced students he was not trying to pull a stunt, Garcia won in what I can only call a remarkable display of permissivity.
"I didn't really know if the school approved. I thought 'Why can't I do it?' " Garcia said. "I see myself as a boy with a different personality. . . . I don't wish to be a girl; I just wish to be myself," he said.Well, way to stir things up! Way to challenge the status quo and raise the bar for our cultural standards! After winning the election, Garcia said, "I feel invincible." Savor it, Sergio: you've earned it.
Some teachers and students were encouraging, others told him not to "stir things up," he said. But his close friends continued to support him, and after his speech, the campus community seemed to be coming around to the idea.
In other news, Adam Lambert seems to be standing pat with the genderqueer card. Rockin'! As society continues to make room for different sexualities (hetero, homo, bi, celibate, etc.), it looks like our sex (male/female) and gender (masculine/feminine) categories are due for expansion as well. This is another strike against the "tyranny of the discontinuous mind," Richard Dawkins' term for the manner in which essentialist inclinations drive us to shove everything in the world into these discrete little boxes whether they fit or not:
Of course, there are those who seem to need a definition of his sexuality nailed down. "Calm down," Lambert says, and "keep speculating."
Lambert knows that such an ambiguous role model is unlikely, and he's glad he had the chance to add something unexpected in this year's competition. "It feels really amazing to be able to try and pass that on to kids and young adults who don't have a role model like that," he says. "It feels great because I never had a role model like that."
Sure, we might have some good boxes that hold lots of stuff, but there will always be things that just don't fit, and we need to be comfortable with those things just being what they are and resist the temptation to demand that they go into this or that box.