North Augusta, SC (WJBF)-
Savannah Mathis is Merriwether Middle School’s newest Homecoming Queen. But she is not your typical queen.
Savannah is an 8th grader with a strong sense of who she is, and unapologetic about it….a rarity for kids that age. She says she had several reasons for deciding to run for the title.
“I had a friend go for it last year and I loved her speech. And I had a bunch of people to tell me to go for it this year because it would be a different type of Homecoming Queen,” said Savannah.
Savannah is part of the LGBTQ+ community and she says doesn’t feel comfortable in traditional female clothing–she wore a suit to the game. She said she ultimately decided to run for the title so that she could get out a message she thought was important.
“It was about not.. about being able to do something even though you don’t look like it. Because people don’t do things…they see a pretty girl and they think that’s going to be the Homecoming Queen. So I went for it just to prove that you can do that,” she explained.
Stephanie Dupont is Savannah’s mom. She said when Savannah told her she wanted to run, she was nervous for her daughter.
“I was scared for her. I didn’t say it to her, but you know, I sat in my room and just hoped and prayed that people wouldn’t be mean. They wouldn’t be ugly. That they would keep in mind that this is still a child,” said Dupont.
Mindy Clark is the principal at Merriwether and she said that she is also proud of Savannah.
“We’re in the business of helping our students to learn how to think, not what to think. And our students, each girl on our homecoming court, we view them as student leaders within our building,” Clark said.
Dupont said she is proud of Savannah for wanting to be a role model to others and said that her speech was inspiring.
“She acknowledged that she was different. She acknowledged that she wanted to be different and she wanted to normalize being different without taking away from what Homecoming always has been,” Dupont said.
Savannah has received some negative reactions for her win but her mom says they just shake it off the negative and move forward with the positive.