Student Crowned NC’s 1st Trans Homecoming King
A 17-year-old Charlotte high school student became North Carolina's first transgender homecoming king Friday, Charlotte, N.C.,'s NBC affiliate station WCNC reports.
Blake Brockington, a senior at East Meck High School in Charlotte, N.C., was crowned homecoming king Friday night during a ceremony in the school's gym.
"Throughout my life I haven't always been treated equally as a male, so I've always wanted this and everybody has told me I couldn't do it. 'You are a girl,' even though I've always identified myself as a male," Brockington said, according to WCNC.
Thirteen students were competing for the crown, but Brockington won after collecting the most money for the school's charity, Mothering Across Continents, a nonprofit organization that funds the creation of schools in Sudan.
Brockington lives with foster parents because his biological father refuses to accept his gender identity. Nevertheless, Donald Smith, Brockington's foster parent, told WCNC that the student has overcome roadblocks and challenges in his life.
"He really is hoping that it helps those behind him going through the same challenges and struggles," Smith said.
Bill Allen, a teacher at East Meck and the student advisor for the school's Gay-Straight Alliance, says the high school is known for its diversity.
"Our young people understand we are all different," Allen told WCNC. "We have all races, genders and religious backgrounds. We have kids representing 30-40 languages in this school and people learn to accept each other as they are, and I think this is an example of what is going to be happening in North Carolina."
Brockington said he is honored "to become part of East Meck's history" and thanked the people who supported him. He added that he wants to inspire other students to follow their dreams.
"They can be themselves regardless of what anybody else says. Even though you go through some things and have some negative encounters in your life, anything is possible. You can do anything you set your heart to," he said.
Brockington plans to go to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in the fall and wants to continue playing rugby and mentoring transgender youth.
Though Brockington's coronation is a first for North Carolina, he isn't the first transgender student in the country to be crowned homecoming king.
Last September, Cassidy Lynn Campbell, then 16-year-old trans student at Marina High School in Huntington Beach, Calif., was named homecoming queen. Though she was thrilled to have won the honor, some students had a problem with her winning and some backlash ensued. Still, that didn't keep her down.
"After 16 years of struggling, I finally do it and I finally am myself -- thinking I'll be so happy," she said in a YouTube clip that has since been taken down. "It's just sad that everyone has to be so judgmental about it, and so hateful, and so mean and so negative. I've never done anything to any of these people. And I don't know why they have to be this way, when I've done nothing to them. It just hurts so bad because I feel just as much of a girl as all of them do... Everyone is just so ignorant."
In October, Ray Ramsey, 17, a student at Concord High School in New Hampshirebecame the school's first transgender homecoming king.