By Parker Marie Molloy
Originally published on Advocate.com February 10 2014 1:57 PM ET
Blake Brockington, a 17-year-old transgender student, made history late last week when he was named homecoming king at East Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, N.C. His victory marks the first time an openly transgender student has been named homecoming king in North Carolina, according to the local NBC affiliate.
The school's homecoming king and queen were determined by which student could raise the most money for the school's charity of choice. Brockington was named king after out-fundraising 12 other seniors vying for the title. He raised $2,335.55 for Mothering Across Continents — an organization working to build a school in South Sudan. Brockington's fundraising provided most of the total $3,203.22 raised by East Mecklenburg's homecoming court.
Brockington, who had been rejected by his family after coming out as transgender, leading to his placement in a foster home, was all smiles after being crowned his school's homecoming king. "Throughout my life, I haven't always been treated equally as a male, so I've always wanted this, and everybody has told me I couldn't do it," Brockington told WCNC. "'You are a girl,' even though I've always identified myself as a male."
After graduation, Brockington plans to attend the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, where he hopes to study mathematics, music, and education.
The 17-year-old hopes that this honor can serve as inspiration for other trans students. "They can be themselves, regardless of what anybody else says," he told WCNC. "Even though you go through some things, and have some negative encounters in your life, anything is possible. You can do anything you set your heart to."