“I’m not going to give back the crown”: Trans homecoming queen won’t let haters steal her joy

Tristan Young
Photo: Screenshot

Trans high school student Tristan Young has received an onslaught right-wing backlash after her peers at Kansas’s Oak Park High School voted to crown her homecoming queen.

But Young won’t let the bigotry bring her down. She told The Kansas City Star that she’s not the kind of person to let people shut her down.

“I like to stay strong. I don’t really buckle unless something is really wrong. 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.”

“Jesus says ‘Love thy neighbor.’ Love everyone as they are,” she added. “This is who I am… I’m proud of who I am. You can tear me down all you want. I’m not going to give back the crown.”

For Young, the good outweighs the bad, and so it’s not worth harping on the haters.

“When I was crowned homecoming queen, why should I make my memories be about fighting back?” she said. “I want to make my memories of being homecoming queen happy. And they’re going to be happy. I’m forever going to remember that moment on the field, where I’m standing with people I love the most, and they call my name. And there was a roar.”

“That’s what I’m going to think about years later. I’m not going to think about all this backlash I got. Because that doesn’t matter to me. What matters to me are the people that support me.”

It’s not clear how the conservative media got hold of Young’s victory or how they learned she’s transgender. It was not publicized, and she is not the school’s first trans homecoming queen. But somehow the likes of LibsofTikTok, Breitbart, and anti-trans activist Riley Gaines figured it out and began railing against the school for allowing a “boy” to win.

But Young is focusing on those who are excited for her, and she says there are a lot of those people, too.

“It’s been really gratifying. 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, like, ‘We’ve got your back.’”

The chair of the Kansas City LGBT Commission, Justice Horn, also celebrated Young’s win. “I uplift this against the transphobia comments against this young person who was named queen by their peers. I’m thankful the next generation of Kansas City is so kind.”

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