CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A 17-year-old transgender high school senior in North Carolina has been nominated by his peers to run for homecoming king. The winner — whoever raises the most money for an international charity — will be crowned this Friday at a homecoming basketball game.
“I honestly feel like this is something I have to do,” says Brockington, noting few other transgender male students have had the opportunity.
Brockington says winning will mean the most for several younger transgender students he mentors, including a nine-year-old boy.
“He really looks up to me. That’s my heart,” Brockington says of his mentee. “He has support now and he will be able to avoid just about everything I’m going through and I don’t want him to ever have to be scared. I feel like if I do this, that’s one red flag for everybody to say, ‘Nobody should be scared to be themselves and everybody should have an equal opportunity to have an enjoyable high school experience.’”
Article continues belowThat’s an experience Brockington hasn’t had. He came out as transgender at the end of his sophomore year.
At home, his step-mother was receptive, but his father rejected the notion. At school, Brockington faced taunts, mostly from other boys, as well as a lack of understanding and education from some teachers and, even, some guidance counselors.
Brockington now lives in foster care and says life at school and elsewhere has gotten better. He’s staying focused on class work and extracurricular activities.
He plays rugby for a student club at the school and, when he turns 18, hopes to play for the Charlotte Royals, a local, LGBT-inclusive rugby team. Band, too, has kept him grounded, where he’s been a drum major for two years.