Lesbian Student Crowned Homecoming King At Local HS

Haileigh Adams, Rebeca Arellano Nominated For Homecoming Court At Patrick Henry HS

A lesbian student has been crowned homecoming king at a local high school.

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During a pep rally at Patrick Henry High School Friday, senior Rebeca Arellano was announced as the school's homecoming king.

"They were chanting my name and it was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had," said Rebeca.

During an interview with 10News on Friday afternoon, cars full of people drove by shouting out things like, "You guys are an amazing couple!"

Rebeca's girlfriend and fellow student, Haileigh Adams, was nominated to be homecoming queen. The winner will be announced at Saturday's dance.

Haileigh and Rebeca started dating in their sophomore year, which was the year Rebeca came out.

"She's really funny and, of course, beautiful, and she's just perfect to me," said Haileigh.

"It is crazy to think that a few years later I am being nominated as king," Rebeca told 10News on Thursday.

The girls said they've received an abundance of support from family, friends and most everyone at the school. The couple said they were not planning to run.

"Any of the guys are not happy about me running because I'm taking a guy's place, but if there was any other way to do it and have two lesbians that are a couple win, I would," Rebeca said.

Their nominations have made a difference for many students at Patrick Henry High School.

"The fact that other people are feeling more confident about themselves or feeling like they might have a chance at doing this, it's opening doors," Haileigh said.

It may be opening doors and minds.

A fellow student named Gladys doesn't know the girls personally but said she knows of them.

"I'm actually bi [sexual] myself," Gladys said. "It makes me think that you can be more open and stuff, and the way the school's reacting to it, like, positively … It makes you more comfortable in the school, and in your environment."

"We don't know if we're going to win," Haileigh said Thursday. "We're not sure, but if we do, it would be an amazing gesture to the LGBT community and everything that we stand for."

Many who used to go to Patrick Henry High, including 1998 graduate Ben Cartwright, thought this day would never come but always hoped it would.

"Patrick Henry [High School] has always sort of been a little ahead of the curve, but I could not imagine this happening then," said Cartwright, an LGBT rights activist.

Cartwright said he kept his sexual preference a secret while in school, and he told 10News, "You're afraid that you'll lose friends, you're afraid you'll be rejected, you're afraid you'll be outcast … I went to homecoming dance with a girl, and I also went to prom with a girl when I actually had a boyfriend who was very angry with me that I did not take him, but I just did not feel comfortable. I was not ready to take that step, so I think it's incredible that these two ladies are going to be able to just go to homecoming and enjoy each other and be happy."

Cartwright told 10News Rebeca's win will help shatter stereotypes.

"Another student that's also a lesbian, she said, 'We won', which was what I wanted," said Rebeca. "I love Patrick Henry for supporting me."

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