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His homecoming victory, he told qnotes at the time, was a way to build awareness and support for other transgender students.
“I honestly feel like this is something I have to do,” Brockington said last year, noting few other transgender male students have had the opportunity.
Brockington said at the time that winning will mean the most for several younger transgender students he had mentored, including a nine-year-old boy.
“He really looks up to me. That’s my heart,” Brockington said 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.’”
But the homecoming win came with a price, Brockington told The Charlotte Observerearlier this year.
Article continues below“That was single-handedly the hardest part of my trans journey,” Brockington told the daily newspaper. “Really hateful things were said on the Internet. It was hard. I saw how narrow-minded the world really is.”
He had a strong message for the public — “we are still human.”
“I’m still a person,” Brockington said. “And trans people are still people. Our bodies just don’t match what’s up (in our heads). We need support, not people looking down at us or degrading us or overlooking us. We are still human.”
Editor’s Note: If you or a young person you know is LGBT and thinking about suicide, please call The Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386. For adults over 24, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.