The newly-crowned homecoming queen at Oak Park High School has been the center of national attention across multiple social media platforms.
17-year-old Tristan Young has been receiving a lot of backlash for winning the title as a transgender woman.
“As much as my life isn’t normal right now, I’m trying to keep it normal,” Young said. “Navigating through the darkness of hate, like, you just get a sea of love contrasting it.”
Young started transitioning during her sophomore year, but she knew she wanted to be a woman since seventh grade. Even after she started transitioning, there were times she was concerned about the perception of others.
That is why the nomination for Homecoming Court felt so special.
“I had a voice in my head, like, people still see you as a man and obviously that doesn’t feel good. So when I was called into the library and told I was up for queen, it made me feel like a woman,” Young said.
Surrounded by her family and the entire student body, Young was crowned Homecoming Queen on Sept. 15. Oak Park High School senior Cruz Lewis says he feels the backlash that Young has received is not representative of the support that was in the stands that night.
He says the reality is, Young is a beloved member of the school and the votes speak for themselves.
“People talk about how adults played a role in this, how society transformed this — this is high school students that voted for this. Completely not in the decision of adults,” Lewis said.
Young says her dream is to become a writer and for people to care about what she has to say.
“There is a way you can be happy in being trans, because there is a lot of hate the world but there is also so much good,” Young said. “As time progresses, I’m hoping that we become a more supportive environment everywhere.”