So what do you call a male flag person?
Male color guard member—it’s just whatever.
There have been others in Knox County; do you know if you are the first at your school?
I am the first one at West High School. I started sophomore year. I was in band freshman year, and I saw them. I told the band director, Richard Rogers, that I was wanting to try out, and he was like, “That’s all right.” He was all for it.
Does it bother you when someone says, “Now, you ladies...”
No, not any more. At first I was like, “Whelp, whoa, that’s not right!” Now it’s not even a second thought.
What kind of success has the West color guard had since you’ve joined?
The first year we just got lower-place trophies at competitions, third place and like that. The second year we started winning more first places, and we really started being successful in the Winter Guard season last year. We got first place in the championships and since then it’s been all firsts.
Is this something you’ll pursue in college?
Kind of—I’m planning on going to UT-Chattanooga and they do have a color guard. I’m also planning on doing DCI—Drum Corps International—and their color guard is all competitions all the time. It’s even possible to compete with them worldwide.
Do you get more of a hard time at your school or from other schools?
At first it was kind of about everyone. After a while our school got used to it, they knew I was kind of decent, so they learned to accept me. Now it’s just other schools.
Is it odd as a teenage boy being around girls all the time?
No, we’ve grown really close—they’re like little sisters to me.
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- Q&A: Monika Hancock, Organizer of the Christmas Crawl: A Holiday Downtown Pub Crawl
- Q&A: Lilly Sutton, Co-organizer of a Benefit Concert for Survivors of Storm Haiyan