Trans homecoming queen hits out at transphobic backlash: ‘It’s going to stay a joyous thing’

Tristan Young

A trans homecoming queen has defiantly hit back against the anti-LGBTQ+ hatred she faced after winning the title.

Tristan Young, 17, said she doesn’t want to “waste my time” trying to win over transphobes after being crowned at Oak Park High School, in Kansas, last week.

She won the title after a vote by 1,500 fellow students.

“I was so overwhelmed,” she told The Kansas City Star. “I thought I was never going to be in this position.”

But her celebrations were almost immediately cut short by a right-wing, anti-trans backlash from people attempting to frame the win as the school “rejecting [four] females.”

Posts online made jabs at Young’s appearance, vilified her for being named homecoming queen, and saying the students who voted for her should be ashamed.

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But none of this has left her feeling any less supported. “I’ve been told: ‘You’re handling this with maturity’,” she said.

“What I think is: ‘What is the use of fighting back?’ I can’t change anybody’s mind.”

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Even during the homecoming celebration itself, Young said students had informed her about the negative comments, to which she responded: “I don’t want to think about that right now. I’m at my senior homecoming.”

‘I’m just not one of those people, I like to stay strong’

Her mother, Chari, said the transphobia initially had her worried for her own safety, as well as that of daughter, after Twitter users threatened to drag Tristan off the field “by [her] hair” and beat her up.

But the overwhelming support Young felt during the moment outweighed any negative comments.

“I’m just not one of those people… I like to stay strong. I don’t really buckle unless something is really wrong,” she added.

“Right now, what’s happening is people are trying to turn a joyous thing into something that I should regret. But it’s going to stay a joyous thing.”

In some ways, everything about the occasion has brought members of the school closer together, she added.

“I’ve had a lot of people congratulating me. The majority of people I have seen have been super sweet.

“People who went to my school, but I didn’t know cared about me, like a bunch of boys on the baseball team, were commenting: ‘We’ve got your back’.

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“In that moment, I had tears welling in my eyes because I felt so supported. I felt: ‘This school wants me to be who I am, and not who other people want me to be’.”

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