After her second year of tryouts, a small-town California girl was accepted by her high school's cheerleading squad as its first transgender member, Sacramento TV station KTXL reported Wednesday.
Anry Fuentes told the station that her mother kicked her out of the house because of her gender identity but she found support in her central California community. Denair is a town of about 4,400 people less than two miles wide. Students and teachers at her high school took up a collection to help pay for her $600 uniform, according to the station.
Aaron Rosander, the school district superintendent told the station Denair values its students. “We’ve dealt with Anry like we’ve dealt with all students: we welcome them all, we support all the kids on their journey through life,” he said.
Many schools have become increasingly accepting of transgender students. Recently in Missouri, one transgender teen was crowned homecoming queen. However, in other schools fights have erupted over which restroom transgender students may use. Another Missouri school staged a walkout when a transgender girl used the bathroom of her choice.
While coming out to her classmates was difficult, Fuentes said it was easier than the alternative. “It’s so much harder to hide than to come out and be yourself,” she told a reporter. “Like, I found it really hard to, like, say the words you know … them actually coming out of my mouth, but once they’re out, they’re out. That’s it.”
Watch the report from KTXL below.