October 23, 2021

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Orlando teen makes history as first openly trans homecoming queen at high school

“I was in bed one night like: ‘What if they were just doing this to laugh at me?’” The 17-year-old recalled to the outlet. In reality, however, her fellow students overwhelmingly awarded her the crown. The teen shared with the outlet that she was once part of the school’s football team, playing for at least six years, and used to stare at cheerleaders during practices, wishing she could have joined them. 

“Every year, a beautiful girl wins homecoming queen and that’s how it always is,” the Olympic High School student told CBS News in an interview, recalling that ever since she was a little girl, she wanted that “moment of glory.” 

When she was crowned queen on the football field, she says it made her feel like “any other girl,” and that she didn’t “have to go through this alone.” According to Bialosuknia, she campaigned on social media and got support from the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance. The night of the big reveal, she says her grandparents, mother, and best friends were in the stands to cheer her on. 

“You can do anything,” the high schooler stressed. “Even if you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community, you aren’t any less. You can be amazing.”

Trans students face a disproportionate amount of bullying, harassment, and even violence from their peers when compared to their cisgender counterparts. They’re also more likely to skip class and leave high school without a diploma. Trans youth are also more likely to become homeless. Clearly, not everyone can make it to the homecoming court—much less win—but examples like Bialosuknia’s are so important to celebrate and center because they reinforce one, trans joy, and two, the enormous difference an inclusive, affirming environment can make. 

Trans students (and adults) participating in anything—from sports to homecoming court to pregnancy to activism—is nothing new or alarming. Trans people have always been here, and have always been part of every activity and opportunity. Republicans are eager to distract from their COVID-19 failures by any means possible, and unfortunately, here in the United States, othering and scapegoating people who are already marginalized and vulnerable is a popular and all too easy choice.

No one loses when trans folks get the same support, rights, and protections as everyone else, but when discrimination becomes the law of the land, we inevitably censor and push countless lives to the sidelines. 

You can check out an interview with the homecoming queen below.

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