Trans high school student nominated for homecoming court is a great example of young LGBTQ+ folk who are thriving
“Trans people are everywhere. We belong.”
With an unprecedented number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills being either proposed or passed across the US, and a significant upturn in anti-LGBT rhetoric and language in online spaces, we could each be forgiven for focusing on the many obstacles and threats we, as a community, are up against of late.
However, in doing so, we might just miss the wonderful things – which perhaps aren’t televised, taking place in a court room, or being broadcast to 14MILLION Twitter followers every day – that show us progress is still being made, in spite of any obstacles.
Enter 18-year-old Aria, an openly trans high school student at Dutchtown High, Louisianna who just got nominated for homecoming court.
As Dutchtown High congratulated the 2022 homecoming court, Aria had an important message for any young LGBTQ+ folk who might be watching.
“It pays to be yourself”, she says. “If you’re lying to yourself about who you are, then you’re not thriving.”
I asked her if she had a message to send and she told me that she wants everyone to know, “It pays to be yourself. If you’re lying to yourself about who you are, then you’re not thriving.”
I lived in this area and it makes me want to cry seeing someone trans celebrated there. pic.twitter.com/q73zezXFAX
— Erin Reed (@ErinInTheMorn) October 14, 2022
LGBT+ activist and influencer Erin Reed, with Aria’s permission, shared footage of the school celebrations, saying “I lived in this area and it makes me want to cry seeing someone trans celebrated there.”
Adding, “being from Louisiana, this feels so big – trans people are everywhere. We belong.”
Erin’s social media post rapidly began generating thousands of likes, with LGBTs from all over replying to offer their congratulations and support.
“This kind of thing gives me hope”, said one tweeter. “It wouldn’t have happened when I was in high school, but it certainly makes me feel great knowing so many young people are rejecting the hateful narratives going around these days!”
“Phew. Choked up watching/reading this”, said another.
While another user tweeted: “damn thats so beautiful! kinda drives home that bigotry is learned and not inherent. makes me wish that things were different when I was in HS but its better late than never”
As we’re all too aware from our own personal experiences, visibility is hugely important for all LGBTQ+ folk, particularly young people and especially in the current climate of rising online hostility and legislative attacks.
In a follow-up tweet, Erin went on to emphasize the crucial importance of positive LGBTQ+ stories and the potential impact that will undoubtedly have on someone:
“Visibility of trans people in this area could 100% change lives. She has the support of her peers (clearly from the video!)”
“Seeing this when I was in school would have changed my life”, she then added.