If you couldn’t already tell, #WSUHoCo16 is just around the corner! Kick-off events are taking place before Homecoming week, which is October 9-16. Thank Your Campus Superhero cards were filled out Wednesday, Oct. 5, Nominate Your Hero begins Thursday, Oct. 6, and on Sunday, Oct. 9 the Homecoming Coronation & Superheroes Got Talent Show will kick off the week.

This year, WSU has moved away from crowning a traditional Homecoming king and queen, and will instead crown two Homecoming Royalty at the coronation ceremony.

This decision was made in celebration of inclusivity and diversity on campus, and these two students will best represent WSU, are involved on campus and in the community, and show Warrior pride. Many students, faculty and clubs on campus have showed their support in having a non-gendered Homecoming Court.

Here are two students’ thoughts:

14063914_10210683471226770_8274521110370460334_nWhen I heard about WSU’s decision to remove binary genders on this year’s homecoming court I was moved to tears.

When I shared the news with Full Spectrum (WSU’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance) we all clapped and cheered.

Some people may think, “What’s the big deal?” but for people who identify as LGBTQIA+, it is a huge deal.

This decision shows us that this school and our peers care about us and want us to be included in things that we normally aren’t included in. Now you may also think, why wouldn’t LGBTQIA+ people feel included in Homecoming?

Well there are many different reasons and one of those was Homecoming court. For people who don’t fit in the gender binary, they aren’t going to feel comfortable running for Homecoming “king” or “queen” because their gender identity simply is not female or male.

Speaking as a non-binary person myself, if I wasn’t graduating this year, I may have ran for Homecoming royalty next year just because I have the feeling now that I can and that I am included.

I think another thing to think about when talking about this change is education. A lot of people are probably asking, “Why is it royalty now and not king and queen?” It is going to start conversations with people about different gender identities that they may not have even known existed.

It is important to look at sexuality when talking about this decision as well. If someone identifies as lesbian, for example, they aren’t going to feel too comfortable having their other royalty be a straight male. They would rather have someone who is like them, in my opinion.

I think this decision is going to start a lot of conversation on campus about LGBTQIA+ identities and I hope it is a positive one that leads to more and more change.

Senior Nichole Moravec, co-president of Full Spectrum

12697147_976789009035495_1685491108681579084_oI think it is a great idea that the homecoming court is all-inclusive and not picking people based on their gender.

I remember in high school, it was always just some popularity contest of the most well-known people or a couple that sign up together, but here is so much better. It’s about who really deserves it and what they stand for, and that is amazing.

At the same time I feel like another step forward would also be to make sure that while being gender inclusive we are also race inclusive and don’t just stop here, but keep moving forward.

Sophomore Dedra Robertson, KEAP Center