Transgender Student Denied Lead Role In Musical Amid School’s Gender Policy Shift

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In a Texan high school, controversy erupted as transgender student Max Hightower lost the lead role in “Oklahoma!” due to a new gender-based casting policy. The policy, stating “only males can play males,” led to Max being stripped of his role, devastating him and disrupting others’ plans. His father, Phillip Hightower, is rallying against the decision, saying, “I’m just a dad that wants to fight for his kid.” The school district claimed no specific role assignment policy but mentioned using the script’s gender identification. Yet, they hinted it might not apply to all productions.

Additionally, they cited mature themes in “Oklahoma!” as a reason, raising questions about the policy’s consistency. Max’s family received overwhelming community support. The district postponed the play, aiming for an “appropriate” version. This incident highlights the clash between transgender rights, casting policies, and artistic expression on a high school stage.

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