So we made a couple of phone calls and found Connor Ferguson, Trenton High School's 2012 prom queen, and asked her to tell us why winning the honour was important to her. Here's what she wrote for us.
"Being a transwoman in high school is very difficult. Going into prom as a transwoman, on the other hand, is genuinely scary.
I wake up every single day in my small town wondering if I'm safely able to leave my house. I've had things yelled at me on the streets. I've even been driven at by cars. I don't let silly things like this stop me from being a happy, confident individual. Regardless of my status as a woman or transwoman I try my hardest not to let the little things bother me.
Living life as a transgender person isn't easy, but I can definitely say the support of my family and friends has been amazing. My school, the staff and my peers have been nothing but supportive of me from day one, but the fact I was being considered for prom queen was still unreal. I honestly didn't think I would win. Even most genetically born females think they aren't going to be prom queen, but being trans I was sure I didn't stand a chance.
In turn, I was overtly nervous going to prom in a leopard print floor-length gown and black glitter six-inch pumps. Thoughts of the hardships that other transwoman have had to endure played out in my head over and over. I was terrified to make an appearance at the event. It didn't help that I was extremely stressed that someone might say nasty words to me, or even throw things. More than a couple of times I contemplated not going. In fact, for a long time I didn't plan on going. Since grade 9 I had told myself I didn't want to go because I was very nervous of what people might think of me.
I've grown up though. I've gained confidence, friends who always stick up for me, and my family has taught me not to take what people say too seriously. These factors all helped me realize I cannot let other people live my life. I can't let the people who have negative things to say about me stop me from enjoying the simple things others get.
So I went to prom, nervous but still excited. When I arrived I was greeted with hugs and compliments of "you look beautiful!" and "look at those shoes!" The fact that people were recognizing me as a woman and not as a "freak" was just outstanding! Yes, I've been living my life as a woman for upwards of 4 years but I'd never even left the house in heels and a gown before. I had to muster up the confidence and self assurance to leave the house with my head held high.
The night turned out being absolutely fantastic! I had so much fun with my friends: we danced, we laughed, it was perfect! In the end, nobody said anything negative about me. Nobody ended up being rude, like I thought they might. Nobody ended up throwing things at me, like I thought they could and nobody ended up disrespecting me.
If only I had somebody there to tell me, "It'll be okay, Connor" or "I've been through this before, and it'll be fun." I think I could have enjoyed my time even more. But even without a date, it was pretty great.
Overall I had a fabulous time! My prom was all I could have hoped for it to be, not only did I win the title of prom queen, but I got to spend some really fun time with the closest people in my life!
Sure I've had my ups and downs, my fights with some, my praise from others, but with the support of my family and friends, I have realized anything is possible. Being a transgender prom queen IS possible. Being happy IS possible. And acceptance for all is MORE than possible."
Meet the Community Team
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