Transgender flag A protester holds a transgender pride flag as part of a “Protect Trans Kids rally” in Sioux Falls on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 16, 2022 in support of transgender rights.

Throughout the country, there has been a strong debate about whether or not transgender students should be allowed to compete in sports in accordance with their gender identity. And now, it sounds like that debate is extending to the stage, as well.

According to a report from NBC 5 DFW, transgender male student Max Hightower has been removed from the lead role in his Texas high school’s production of “Oklahoma!” as a result of a new policy stating that “only males can play males, and only females can play females” in school productions.

“I was devastated,” Max’s father, Phillip Hightower said in response to the decision.

“I’m not an activist. I’m not highly political. I have both liberal and conservative beliefs. I’m just a dad that wants to fight for his kid,” Hightower said.

Though the result was disappointing, Hightower was overwhelmed by all the support they received.

“The outpouring of love and support was something like I’d never seen before. I didn’t see any hate in any of that,” Hightower said.

Hightower plans to appeal the decision to the school board and he made it clear that he will continue to support and advocate for his son throughout the process.

“I’m not going to quit advocating for my son – ever. Max has shown me what real strength is,” Hightower said.