A transgender student in Colorado was crowned homecoming princess at a Colorado Springs high school. Scarlett Lenh, 16, won the majority of votes of her junior class at Sand Creek High School despite being a boy biologically.
The (Colorado Springs) Gazette reported Lenh, who was born Andy Lenh, beat out three biological girls for the crown, and was honored during the school’s annual homecoming football game. Though Lenh only began identifying as transgender beginning this school year and using the women’s bathrooms while on campus, she says she had known she was meant to be a girl when she was just 7 or 8 years old.
“It was really exciting. It felt really good, I couldn’t stop smiling,” Lenh told the newspaper after finding out she had won. “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.”
While Lenh was happy with the results of the vote, not everyone was supportive.
“It's craziness,” said Jana Neathery, the grandmother of a Sand Creek student. “Originally, it was a joke that he was going to be nominated for homecoming princess, but he got a lot of nominations. 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’.”
Classmates Jarrod Clarke, a fellow junior at Sand Creek agreed with Neathery: “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 recently doing it.”
But Lenh’s critics won’t be able to change the outcome of the votes. According to the school district’s spokesman Matt Meister the school board’s policy is to “not exclude any person from participating in any program or activity on the basis of gender identity and gender expression.”