Orlando school makes history by electing its first transgender homecoming queen

‘It made me feel like I actually belonged,’ 17-year-old Evan Bialosuknia says

Stuti Mishra
Thursday 30 September 2021 10:41
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A school in Florida elected its first transgenderhomecoming queen last week in what is being seen as a historic break from tradition.

Evan Bialosuknia said she felt like she “actually belonged” when the students at Olympia High School in Orlando chose her as the homecoming queen and crowned her alongside the homecoming king.

“I wanted to have that moment of glory,” the 17-year-old told WESH2 in an interview.

Though she was initially unsure about what to expect, the support she eventually received was overwhelming, Ms Bialosuknia said.

“It made me feel like I actually belonged,” she added. “Not just like a joke. [Because] that was one of my fears. I was in bed one night like: ‘What if they were just doing this to laugh at me?’” But, she said, everyone was supportive and the the homecoming king made her feel “like any other girl”.

She took to Instagram on Sunday to post the pictures of her glorious moment, posing with the crown and standing alongside the homecoming king, with the caption: “made history.”

Sharing her journey of “coming out”, Ms Bialosuknia said “more change is coming”.

“Looking back, it doesn’t even feel like that’s me,” she said. “I played football for like six to eight years, and I remember during practices I would stare at the cheerleaders because I wanted to be with them.”

Ms Bialosuknia added that being crowned homecoming queen made her feel better about the future. “It just made me realise I was not alone and don’t have to go through this alone,” she said.

An increasing number of queer teens and schools have begun to challenge homecoming or prom traditions. Some schools have begun to use gender-neutral terms such as homecoming royalty instead of king and queen. There are also more same-sex couples crowned homecoming or prom royalty in the past few years.

But it is not all good news, as studies show that transgender students face more bullying and discrimination in American schools. A 2018 survey showed that many LGBTQ students report and perceive discrimination in school settings, both at the K-12 levels and in higher education.

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