Oakley Reed, his friends call him Oak, is a seventeen-year-old senior at Mona Shore High School in Muskegon, Michigan who was voted by his fellow classmates to be this year's Homecoming King.
But Oak won't be wearing the crown at the dance because he is a transgendered student who is still enrolled at the school as a female--he plans on having gender reassignment surgery after turning eighteen--and, according to the principal, he couldn't fulfill his "King-ly" duties because he is a girl .
Now, Oak being transgendered wasn't new, and wasn't a secret. He says teachers openly referred to him as, well, "him". As a member of the band he was allowed to wear the same tuxedo as the other boys; at graduation he will be wearing the male cap and gown.
Still, no one seemed bothered that Oak Reed wanted to be King. He posted "Vote for me for Homecoming King" on his Facebook page, and his fellow students did exactly that, but then the principal said all the votes for him were invalid because of that one little check mark.
His fellow students, however, are not as narrow-minded as the school principal. They have created their own Facebook group, Oak Is My King, where they have posted a protest video and created designed T-shirts in support of Reed and transgendered rights, which they plan to wear in solidarity this Friday.
These days, with stories of kids being bullied, beaten, and driven to suicide, it's nice to hear of students at a high school who understand and accept their fellow students as they are, without prejudice, or fear, or fists.