A transgender student was just crowned homecoming queen in North Carolina and here’s why that’s a big deal
In news that’s made us jump up and down with excitement, a school in North Carolina crowned its first ever transgender homecoming queen!
Selena Milian, an 18-year-old student at Overhills High School in Spring Lake, N.C., was voted for in a popular vote by her student body. Selena, who is also Native American, is believed to be the first transgendered woman to be crowned homecoming queen in the state of North Carolina.
Selena’s coronation comes despite North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory’s HB2 bill.
The legislation, which has been widely criticized for being overtly transphobic, states that those wishing to use public restrooms must use the gender assigned to them at birth. Colloquially named “The Bathroom Bill,” McCrory’s law has seen an onslaught of detractors claim the bill is unconstitutional and discriminatory, with many LGBTQ+ people using the hashtag #WeAreNotThis to speak out against it.
This type of discrimination is something that Selena says she has faced head on.
Speaking to Trans.Cafe, the newly appointed queen said that for years she acted as educator for her school.
"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," she explained. "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."
For Selena, YouTube was a space where she could feel comfortable and it also allowed her to connect with young trans people, too.
Continuing, the high schooler explained that she felt that her story needed to be told.
"I felt like this should be more publicized. Trans people exist and we are people. We are not recognized enough," she protested. "They just think the typical Jerry Springer story—they think negative things. We are more than those stereotypes."
Since it’s introduction, the HB2 Bill has allegedly cost the state of North Carolina $395 million due to a number of sporting and cultural events boycotting the state due to opinions that the law is discriminatory towards people who are transgender.
"Being crowned homecoming queen was just the first step," Selena said. "I want to help my community and continue to make a difference."
It’s incredible to see a story like Selena’s and the fact that, despite the statewide anti-transgender bathroom laws, young people are rallying around minority groups and celebrating difference. We couldn’t be happier for Selena and totally support her mission to make a difference.