PASADENA (CBSLA.com) — The path to becoming homecoming queen usually involves high heels and a fancy dress.READ MORE: Pasadena Unified School District Parents Voice Concerns About Return To Classrooms, Vaccines, Testing
But Raul Arzate, a male student at Blair High School in Pasadena, wants to wear the crown for high ideals.
He is one step away from becoming his school’s first male homecoming queen, and he is excited at the prospect. Arzate told CBS2’s Louisa Hodge why he’s vying for the crown: he thinks his fellow classmates are more than ready for history to be made.
“Kids just might want to see something different in the world,” Arzate said.
“The Gay-Straight Alliance, which is about 50 students here, were so thrilled about the nomination,” says the group’s advisor, Frances Nicholson. “They were just besides themselves. They see him as a great role model. Many of the kids are younger. Here is someone willing to stand up and be counted, and that makes a big difference.”
Hundreds of students voted, and Arzate is now one of two finalists. (The winner will be chosen Friday.)READ MORE: Five Arrested After Wild Pursuit Ends With Car Crashing Into Pole, Flipping Over
Hodge spoke to many students, all of whom are supporting Arzate and social change.
“To me, it’s like we are in a society where we should keep moving on already,” said student Omar Balbanda.
“I’m really happy to see a change in our school,” said one female student.
Arzate told Hodge he came out when he was 15.
He’s enjoying the support of his peers. Arzate said it’s not just a boost to know he’s popular; his possible election is giving him confidence — and a purpose.MORE NEWS: LA Community College District Board Mandates Vaccinations, Masks
“It’s bending traditional gender roles,” Arzate said, “and this is showing that when you are comfortable with yourself and you come to terms with yourself, you can practically do anything you want.”