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Fresno trans girl
wins prom crown

Fresno trans girl
wins prom crown

Johnny Vera, a 6-foot-4 cheerleader whose late mother always told her, "To really be a lady you have to know how to walk into a room," certainly worked it Saturday as she was crowned prom queen of Roosevelt High School in Fresno, Calif.

Vera, who goes by a male moniker and prefers female pronouns but "isn't too hung up" if people slip, was students' favorite by a 5-1 margin, the school's principal told the Fresno Bee.

"This person is amazing. He lights up everybody around him; he always has a genuine compliment for everyone," career counselor Lupe Sosa told the Bee.

In her candidate speech Vera told fellow students, "For me, it's about more than a crown. It's about saying to people, 'Come out and be who you want to be....' I am who I am, and I'm proud of who I am. My spirit will never be down on the floor."

Nor is Vera the only transgender prom royal in the heavily Latino agricultural city of 480,000. Cinthia "Tony" Covarrubias, across town at Fresno High School, last month campaigned for prom king in male persona after some initial reluctance from the school district. Though Covarrubias didn't win, he told AP he hoped to set a precedent for other transgender teens.

Vera grew up in Santa Ana, Calif., but moved with her family to Fresno several years ago after her mother died of complications from lupus.

"She taught me to be strong and never be ashamed of myself," Vera told the Bee. "There were all those statistics about transgender kids committing suicide. People would look at me and say I was going to do drugs or be a prostitute. And I would just tell myself, 'I'm not going to let anyone but me tell me what I'm going to be.' " (The Advocate)

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