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Trans student voted prom queen in North Carolina, home of ‘bathroom bill’

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An Native-American transgender teenager has been voted prom queen at her high school in Spring Lake, North Carolina.

Selena Milian, who identifies as transgender, won the crown on October 21 in the popular contest at Overhills High School.

She says after she came out life was initially difficult, but that did not prevent her from being a “social butterfly”.

“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 told TransCafe.

“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 modelling troupe I was in.

“This is a military-based town so it’s not always the most welcoming for trans people, but that hasn’t stopped me from being myself.”

Next year she hopes to start on a program of hormones. She says YouTube was a major source of inspiration and confidence for her after realising she was trans. ‘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.’

After graduating, Milian hopes to study hairdressing and make-up. She also wants to give back to her community by creating online videos for other trans women.

“I felt like this should be more publicised. 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.”

Milian’s success as a young trans woman living openly in her community contrasts with what is happening at the government level.

The HB2 law, nicknamed ‘The Bathroom Bill’, states that you must use the bathroom according to what gender is listed on your birth certificate, regardless of your gender identity.

The anti-LGBT bill has proved unpopular, as companies withdraw job contracts, and musicians and sports team cancel concerts and sports events in protest.

Wired estimated the cost of the Bill so far to the state comes to $395 million.

The Governor of North Carolina, Pat McCrory, said he would call a special session to consider repealing the law, but only if the city of Charlotte repeals its own LGBT protections.

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