Tristan Young, a 17-year-old transgender student, was crowned homecoming queen at Oak Park High School in Kansas. Garnering the support of 1,500 fellow students, Young’s win was both a personal achievement and a statement against discrimination.

While the moment was filled with joy, Young shared with The Kansas City Star the brief shadow cast upon it. “The euphoria of the win was momentarily challenged by divisive voices,” she remarked.

As news of her victory spread, detractors on social media attempted to sour her achievement. Some comments criticised Young’s appearance, while others questioned the judgment of her peers.


However, Young’s resilience in the face of adversity shone through. “Engaging with negativity isn’t productive. I’m more focused on the outpouring of love and acceptance I’ve received,” she expressed.

While some informed her about the negativity online during the homecoming event, Young chose to remain in the moment, remarking, “This is my senior homecoming. I choose joy.”

Chari, Young’s mother, voiced concerns for her daughter’s safety after encountering threats on social media. However, Young remained steadfast, emphasising her strength in adversity. “The intent behind these comments is to turn a moment of joy into a point of regret, but I choose to cherish it.”

The incident also showcased the unity within Oak Park High School. Young shared touching instances where fellow students, even those she wasn’t acquainted with, stood up for her. “Realising that so many have my back, even those I didn’t expect, has been overwhelmingly touching,” she said.

This overwhelming support solidified Young’s belief that her school celebrates individuality and diversity. With a glint of hope, she concluded, “Oak Park High wants every student to be their authentic self, and I am living proof of that.”