On September 12th, students at Sand Creek High School elected this year’s homecoming princess. The crown went to Scarlett Lenh, a junior who, just a few weeks prior, began identifying openly as a transgender female.
Though the response to Lenh’s princess status has not been unanimously favorable, it is uplifting to see that the majority of her classmates were so willing to support her so soon after finding out about her true identity. Lenh claims that she has known she was a female for years, but has not publicly identified or lived as a female until the current school year. In making the brave decision to be true to herself, she was not only quickly accepted by her peers but was almost immediately given a popularity status that in the past had only been awarded to biological girls.
Some of Lenh’s classmates and their families, though, have expressed displeasure about a biological male winning a traditionally female competition, some complaining that Lenh’s nomination was “a joke” or “ridiculous.” Still, her victory proves that more students were willing to show support for her new identity than rally against her. Her classmates’ quick acceptance of her transition is inspiring, and may be indicative of a generation of progressive, accepting high schoolers who are less inclined to discriminate.
The homecoming results came as a surprise to Lenh. “I didn’t think I’d be nominated, but now it really matters to me,” Lenh has said “This is something I’ve wanted to do since my freshman year. I want people to be themselves and not feel uncomfortable in their own body and mind.”
Wise words from a sixteen-year-old girl who has just proven to her high school and to the world that you do not need to hide who you are to fit in, and that the most rewarding thing you can do for yourself is to own your true identity. It’s inspiring to know that a group of high school students can adjust the societal norm to complement each other’s individuality. What’s more inspiring still is that this adjustment occurred so swiftly. Only a few weeks after Lenh came out as trans, her classmates were acknowledging her true gender and giving her an equal opportunity with all the other girls in the school.
Congratulations to Scarlett Lenh on her newfound high school royalty.