College's homecoming queen is transgender

Oct. 25, 2009 at 1:25 PM
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WILLIAMSBURG, Va., Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Students at the College of William & Mary in Virginia have elected a transgender student their homecoming queen for the first time, a school official said.

William & Mary President Taylor Reveley said the homecoming victory by junior Jessee Vasold is not a problem for the public Williamsburg school, which is the second-oldest college in the United States and educated presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe and John Tyler, The Newport News (Va.) Daily Press reported Saturday.

"I knew Jessee before," Reveley said. "(It's) a little more publicity than normal for a homecoming queen, but it's just fine."

Vasold, whose age was not reported, admitted being "surprised" by the homecoming win.

"I knew I was nominated, but I was just surprised, because there were a lot of other really good candidates on the ballot," Vasold said. "I know all of the other girls, and they're wonderful people, really friendly. So I was surprised."

The Daily Press said the William & Mary student does not identify with traditional male or female gender roles, instead choosing to approach each day individually.

"Normally, it really just depends on the day, how I dress," Vasold told the Daily Press. "I don't identify as a woman. It really just depends on the day and the occasion."

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