DALLAS — Last week, the students at North Dallas High School ended their day in a rally of support for one of their own: Andy Moreno, a transgender teen who was denied the opportunity to run for homecoming queen.
"I felt like I am being discriminated [against] because I tried running for homecoming queen, and I wasn't able to because the principal said it wasn't based on tradition," Moreno told MTV News. One of the administrators had a problem with Andy running, so she reached out to Principal Dinnah Escanilla, who "said that I was a gay male — which, to me, was a little ignorant, because she doesn't seem that educated in the transgender topic."
North Dallas High School is home to many out LGBT students, who have found acceptance through the school's Gay Straight Alliance, which was started two years ago. When MTV News reached out for the comment, the school district released this statement: "It again should be noted that Dallas ISD is proud to have one of the most progressive anti-discrimination policies among school districts in the state." However, "The district's administration continues to support the principal with this decision."
Andy's bid to run for homecoming queen first started as a joke with her best friend, Ruby, who is also transgender (male to female) and was set to run for homecoming king. Once they saw that people were willing to vote for them, it started to become a serious campaign.
The vote took place last Monday. While the tally was meant to remain confidential, Andy had some friends who counted votes and said there were quite a few ballots with her name. Even though Andy was denied the chance to run for queen, Ruby was nominated for homecoming king.
During the after-school rally, the students at North Dallas were greeted by multiple media outlets and police officers who helped maintain the peace for this nonviolent crowd. Queer Liberaction member Elizabeth Pax got the attention of the crowd by getting on a bullhorn and clearing up some misconceptions. "Transgender people are born with the brain of the [gender] they identify as and the body of the other gender," Pax said. "Andy is, in fact, a biological woman. Her brain is the brain of a woman." The crowd roared in agreement and demanded a re-vote as they marched down the street.
Although discouraged by Principal Escanilla's decision, the teenager is taking it in stride. "I hope I can be a mentor to people," Moreno said. "I encourage people to come up and ask me things. That's how you eliminate ignorance, is by asking."
Should there be a re-vote for homecoming queen? Let us know in the comments below.
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