Issak Oliver Wolfe was in the running for prom king at Red Lion Area Senior High School with the support of many of his classmates, but when the ballots came out, Issak’s name could not be found. Issak, who is transgender, had been listed under his birth name in the prom queen category.
Issak told the York Daily Record, “If I would have known they would’ve done that, I probably would have opted out,” he said. “…What bothers me the most is they never told me.”
Issak began transitioning in his junior year of high school, and is supported by his parents, sister, and many of his classmates and teachers. Upon hearing that his son had been placed in the girl’s category of the prom court ballot, Issak’s father, William Stambaugh, met with the principal and assistant principal to discuss the decision. Mark Shue, principal of Red Lion High School, told Stambaugh that he felt “uncomfortable” placing Issak on the prom king ballot. Issak’s father said to the York Daily Record, “They’re [the school district] all good people…They just — a bad decision was made.”
Issak’s girlfriend, Taylor Lunar Thomas, contacted the Facebook page, “Have A Gay Day” with Issak’s story, asking for Issak’s story to be shared, and for others to question the school’s decision.
We are trying to bring attention to this story so that people out there in Issaks’ position know they are not alone, so that my boyfriend has the chance to stand up on stage wearing the crown he deserves, the prom king sash firmly across his shoulder. We are trying to shed light on the bigotry and closed mindsets of our small town of Red Lion. We must let Mr. Shue know that his discrimination will not be tolerated.
His sister, Cheyenne Stambaugh, created a change.org petition, asking the high school to allow Issak to run as prom king, and recieve his diploma with his correct name. As of Tuesday evening, the petition has 2,290 signatures.