ANGLETON, Texas -- A Texas school district is standing by its high school's decision to take down a Facebook post that congratulated its new homecoming king and queen last week. This comes after a slew of hateful comments were posted against the homecoming king for his "feminine appearance," prompting a social media movement in support of the student.
Eddy Wilson, who's a senior and varsity cheer captain at Angleton High School, said he absolutely loves to wear makeup, dress up and get his hair done. But because society deems that as feminine-presenting, he said he's faced all sorts of harassment throughout his life.
"My cheer locker was vandalized throughout sophomore and junior year. I am a male, so I'm in the boys' locker room with baseball, soccer and basketball players. One time, someone took my cheer uniform, rubbed it in dirt, and hung it up on my locker," Wilson said. "Honestly, it's bothered me."
That's why it meant so much to Wilson when his peers voted for him to become the new homecoming king last week. Never did he think this would happen when he moved back to Angleton, Texas from The Woodlands, Texas during his freshman year. He believes his kindness is what his classmates love the most about him.
"Ask anyone in the hallways. I don't cause problems. If you're smiling at me, I'm smiling back. I'm probably smiling at you first. That's just the type of person that I am," he said.
The high school posted on its Facebook page shortly after the announcement, congratulating Wilson and the homecoming queen on their victory. But officials quickly took it down after several people made negative comments about his appearance.
Wilson told ABC Houston affiliate KTRK he's disappointed by the school's decision and their failure to defend him. He felt like his accomplishment was overshadowed by the hateful rhetoric on the post.
"I could see why (school officials) thought it was going to solve the problem. But it doesn't solve anything. It just lets the people who said the nastiest things almost get away with it," he said. "Why do so many adults that don't know me, (apart) from a can of paint, have such a strong, hateful opinion about me?"
In a statement to KTRK, an Angleton Independent School District spokesperson wrote, in part, "AISD chose to take down the social media post announcing the homecoming king and homecoming queen due to some of the comments that were considered not to be within the scope that the post intended."
When asked why the high school didn't just delete the comments or state that hateful remarks would not be tolerated, the district said it would not be answering any further questions.
Not too long after the post was deleted, Wilson began to see supportive messages on social media from friends, family and people all throughout the community under the hashtag, #TeamEddy.
"I feel super, super grateful for everyone's support. It's more than I ever expected," he said.
He expressed that he's speaking out to empower others to live as their most authentic selves, no matter what others say.
"I don't do well with labels. I have the confidence to be me because I'm letting go of all the labels," Wilson said. "As long as you're being you and you feel secure and beautiful in who you are, your body, and your skin, that's all that matters."