Zachary Willmore has made history at Rock Bridge High School and even made some national headlines after being the first male named homecoming queen at Rock Bridge High School in Columbia.

Columbia's KOMU TV featured him in a news story. And Simplemost told his story on November 1.

Willmore, who is a varsity cheerleader for Rock Bridge, posted a poll on his Instagram Page asking if she should run for homecoming king or homecoming queen. Willmore told KOMU TV, “They thought queen would look prettier on the sash. I was like, ‘You’re so correct.’ So I chose queen.”

But it's not the novelty of him being named homecoming queen that interested me in sharing this story. Nor was it the fact that Rock Bridge High School administrators didn't get their underwear in a bunch over the situation and let Willmore take the sash.

I'm more interested in the fact that Willmore has fought the Rock Bridge High School dress code and has been successful in doing so. Simplemost says, "He’s long been deeply invested in making his high school a more equitable place for people of all genders. He has often challenged his school’s dress code, using his TikTok account to decry the times he was “dress coded” for his “feminine” or avant-garde outfits."

KOMU TV spoke to Columbia Public Schools spokesperson Michelle Baumstark, who confirmed Willmore spurred conversation about what a fair and inclusive dress code should look like. And looking at the Rock Bridge Student Handbook, it looks like the school is updating the policy:

The RBHS dress code is currently undergoing a revision for the 2021-2022 school year to be more inclusive of all students. Dress and grooming are considered matters of individual taste. The primary responsibility of dress for school is left to students and parents.The RBHS administration reserves the right to limit specific dress that is disruptive, distracting, unsafe, or inappropriate for the school environment.

I went to Catholic High School in the 1980s. And we fought dress code policies all the time. Mostly hair length, being clean-shaven, and the school's prohibition of earrings. And when I say fought I really mean kept trying to come up with ways around violating it. Like putting hair up with bobby pins, guys putting a band-aid over a newly pierced ear, and hoping the dean of discipline wouldn't spot you if you forgot to shave.

But I don't think any of us actually thought to approach the administration and try to change any of those policies. Or protest. Or Speak out. Willmore, on the other hand, stood up and spoke out. And actually has created some change. Or at least got the adults at his school to think and act, and that's an accomplishment.

One that bodes well for the Rock Bridge High senior's future. I hope he goes on and continues to create change, make people think, and make his part of the world better for all.

Check out his TixTok below:

@zachwillmore Found my date #fyp #gay #homecoming ♬ original sound - Just smile and scroll

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