Overhills High School in Spring Lake, NC has elected a transgender student as homecoming queen. Selena Milian, an 18-year-old Native American, won the race on October 21.
Her win comes as North Carolina faces increasing pressure to repeal the transphobic HB2 bill, which makes it illegal for trans people to use the correct bathroom. The state has suffered a number of sporting and cultural boycotts, costing around $395 million.
When I first came out as a freshman, I was not allowed to wear dresses. I’ve had to stand up for myself everyday and correct people in every part of my school.
I was really depressed and had to go to therapy but transitioning gave me more confidence and then I became more involved in school activities, like plays and the modeling troupe I was in,
This is a military-based town [Fort Bragg] so it’s not always the most welcoming for trans people, but that hasn’t stopped me from being myself.
Selena explained how YouTube allowed her to connect with other young trans people: “I had never hung out with another trans person in real life so I got a lot of help and support by watching videos on YouTube.”
Trans people exist and we are people.
We are not recognised enough. They just think the typical Jerry Springer story – they think negative things. We are more than those stereotypes.
Being crowned homecoming queen was just the first step. I want to help my community and continue to make a difference.
When the homecoming queen is not thinking about being trans and the issues surrounding how the world treats her or the bigotry she faces, Selena focuses on your typical teenage stuff. Next year, she plans to get on hormones, go to school for cosmetology, and to do tutorials online for other trans women.