COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Students at Sand Creek High School and their parents have mix reactions to their homecoming court after a transgender female was crowned the 2014 homecoming princess.
Scarlett Lenh, who was born Andy Lenh and began identifying himself as a girl this school year, was crowned homecoming princess at the school’s football game last Friday, the Colorado Springs Gazette reports.
The 16-year-old, who has worn girls’ clothing and used the female bathroom at Sand Creek since school started a few weeks ago, told the news site she is excited that her peers in the junior class voted for her over two other candidates, but not everyone is celebrating the occasion.
“One of my friends mentioned it, and I didn’t think anything of it because I didn’t think I’d be nominated. But, now, it really matters to me,” Lenh 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.”
Lehn said two other candidates for homecoming princess were supportive of her win, while a third “was really upset.”
Some local residents, parents and students were also upset by the transgendered princess.
“It’s craziness,” grandparent Jana Neathery told the Gazette.
“Originally, it was a joke that he was going to be nominated for homecoming princess, but he got a lot of nominations,” Neathery said. “And now there are a lot of upset girls because a spot was taken from them.
“I’m very sympathetic that he’s transgender, but he should be on the boys’ side, not the girls’.”
“I think it’s wrong because he’s actually a guy, he’s not a girl, and he hasn’t been doing this his entire life – he’s only been doing it recently,” Sand Creek junior Jarrod Clarke told the Gazette.
Lehn, in fact, only informed her parents of her new gender last week.
“It was really hard,” Lehn said. “My mom didn’t like it, but she wants to support me for what I do in life.”
Clarke and Neathery both believe it’s strange that Lehn uses the female bathroom at school. The grandmother said she complained about that to school officials, and alleges the teen’s sexuality should also be considered in deciding which facilities she should use.
“It’s ridiculous – he’s interested in girls, and they’re allowing him to use the girl’s bathroom,” Neathery said.
Lehn, meanwhile, contends that “for the last year and a half, I haven’t been attracted to anything.”
The situation is at least the second the area in which a transgender student has run into complications at school.
“In June 2013, at another school, a transgender first-grader who was born a boy but identifies as a girl won the right to use the girls’ restroom at Eagleside Elementary in Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8,” the Gazette reports.
“Coy Mathis’ parents took the case to the Colorado Civil Rights Division, claiming the district’s refusal to allow Coy to use the girls’ bathroom violated Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act. The division ruled in favor of the girl, saying keeping the ban in place ‘creates an environment that is objectively and subjectively hostile, intimidating or offensive.”
School officials for District 49, which oversees the high school, did not comment specifically about Lehn, but stated simply that “leaders at Sand Creek High School and in District 49 respect the decision of the Scorpion student body in electing their homecoming court.”
The reactions from Gazette readers to Lehn’s homecoming crown were as mixed as those from students.
“The pervert is doing this as a political stunt to show everyone he is in a special protected class and can do things heterosexuals cannot,” wrote Jennifer Lowe. “To congratulate him shows how brainwashed with political correctness our children really are.”
“Kudos to the Sand Creek school officials who respected the decision of their students and said so publically,” Jack Edwards posted. “In an era of absurd zero-tolerance policies, these administrators are a breath of fresh air.”