As our class enters the last full academic week before finals start and we are finished with Fall semester, I started to look back over our readings for the class, specifically the ones that focus on trans individuals or “third gender” people in a historical context. Why I wanted to do this is because there are still discriminatory practices in place when it comes to trans people, and that is so surprising since in our short time together as a class we have managed to educate ourselves about gender variant individuals who have been active members of society long before we were born. A lot of positive light has been shed on trans teens in the news lately, but there are still social setbacks within the community. I managed to find an article that focused on a trans teenager that was discriminated against by her high school officials and classmates.
Last week at a North Dallas High School, Andy Moreno a transgender teen was denied the opportunity to run for homecoming queen.
“I felt like I am being discriminated [against] because I tried running for homecoming queen, and I wasn’t able to because the principal said it wasn’t based on tradition.”
A school administrator had a problem with Moreno running for the homecoming queen position and reported it to the school’s principal Dinnah Escanilla who said that Moreno was a “gay male”, and is obviously uneducated when it comes to the topic of transgender issues.
The high school prides itself on having “one of the most progressive anti discrimination school districts in the state” due to the fact that the school has a extremely strong Gay Straight Alliance Organization that was put in place two years ago. Although the school administration still sides with the principals decision to deny Moreno the chance to run for queen.
Moreno’s desire to run for queen was at first a joke with her best friend Ruby who also is a transgender teen who decided to run for homecoming king. Even though it started off as a joke the campaign started to become serious and after the vote last Monday Ruby was nominated for homecoming king, and Andy was denied.
Queer Liberaction member Elizabeth Pax who got attention from the crowd by yelling into a bullhorn about trans misconceptions visited the rally that took place after school.
“Transgender people are born with the brain of the (gender) they identify as and the body of the other gender…Andy is, in fact, a biological woman. Her brain is the brain of a woman.” –Pax
Although the Principal denied Andy’s decision she has only used this incident to build more strength for the trans community and reduce ignorance.
Moreno’s states “I hope I can be a mentor to people, I encourage people to come up and ask me things. That’s how you eliminate ignorance, is by asking”
The discrimination against trans teens seems to take place not only in southern areas of the United States but also in areas throughout the continent. It’s impressive how this young teen manages to absorb the blatant discriminatory treatment and use it to fuel a campaign to reduce trans ignorance. It appears that if the school officials just took a small amount of time to learn about trans issues, they would be more open to change, just as our class has done by reading documents which show that gender variant people and have been active members of society for quite some time, and that these issues are not new.
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