Watching the ESPYS with rapt attention last week, as Caitlyn Jenner urged acceptance for transgender athletes to let them play sports "as who they really are," was 17-year-old Alex Trujillo of San Fidel, New Mexico.
She's transgender, and said she was devastated when her high school barred her from joining the girl's volleyball team.
"I loved Caitlyn Jenner's speech," Alex told ABC News. "It was so inspirational and I'm really glad she's finally becoming who she is. One thing she said about ... thousands of transgender youth are coming out and finding themselves, and that really spoke to me. And also because she was an athlete, and she has this huge platform, and she's not just being selfish about it. She's actually doing stuff, and she spoke about others in her acceptance speech, and I love that."
But ABC News reports what Laguna-Acoma high school told her made her cry.
"I talked to the principal and the coach ... [about] if it was OK for me to start going to volleyball conditioning," said Alex. "And they said they didn't see a problem with it, but they would check with the NMAA [New Mexico Activities Association] to make sure it was OK," Alex said. "So I went to one day of volleyball conditioning, and a few days later I was told that I couldn't [play]. ... That was really devastating for me."
The NMAA rule is that the gender on a student's birth certificate dictates the eam he or she plays for, according to Albuquerque TV station KOAT. Birth certificates can only be amended after reassignment surgery, according to the KOAT report.
Her mother, Terri Trujillo, supported her transition between 9th and 10th grade, telling ABC she knew Alex was transgender "from the very young age of 3 or 4."
"She would always wear a towel on her head," she said. "She was Pocahontas. That was who she was. She didn't want to play with the boys' toys.
Trujillo said Alex was the first male-to-female transgender person in their small town, which is predominately Native American.
"In this small community, you don't really hear too much about transgender. So she was really struggling to find who she was. Also being afraid of what other people were going to think of her. In 8th grade ... she would wear eyeliner at school and wipe it off before she came home."
Alex is entering her senior year this fall, and has had difficulties with the school regarding the bathrooms she is restricted to using. So her mom said she's begun working to make Alex's schoo more inclusive. She's also started a transgender support group in the area.
"We have a high-rate of suicide in our community, and the majority of these students are members of the LGBT community," said Trujillo. "I used to think we were alone ... but ... people have been more accepting. We've gotten a lot of support."
Watch KOAT's interview with Alex and her mother below: