It's Homecoming season! A time for high schools and colleges to celebrate their school pride. One key activity in many homecoming celebrations is the coronation of a homecoming king and queen. When LGBT students are crowned as homecoming royalty, it often makes headlines, but unfortunatley the media does not always represent these students fairly and accurately.
This year, Cassidy Lynn Campbell won the title of Homecoming Queen at her high school in Huntington Beach, California. Initially, the moment was one of joy for Cassidy, her friends and family, as well as those who hoped that her crowning might be a sign that transgender people were reaching a milestone of acceptance.
But that joy quickly soured as Cassidy became the target of several anti-transgender slurs. Cassidy posted a video, describing her ordeal.
Cassidy has also been the subject of anti-transgender commentary by anti-LGBT activists like Brian Fischer, who has been one of the most extreme activists named on the Commentator Accountability Project.
Across the country, another transgender student was denied the opportunity to even run as Homecoming King. The Richland school board in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, had banned 17 year-old Kasey Caron to run for Homecoming King.
While many of the stories about Cassidy Lynn Campbell were positive and sympathetic, the stories about Kasey Caron have not been accurate or inclusive. The Associated Press ran a story in which they did gymnastics to avoid ever using a pronoun when referring to Kasey. They also included "born female" in the first sentence, just to make sure the reader got it. Also included in the story is an irrelevant piece of Kasey's medical history that has nothing to do with why the school is not allowing him to run for the ceremonial title of Homecoming King.
GLAAD continues to call on the media to stop making stories about transgender people salacious tales that focus on medical procedures, surgery, deception, or any other gross stereotype that demeans and disrespects transgender people. Cassidy and Kasey were clearly loved by their peers at school, and yet they continue to be subjected to mis-naming and mis-gendering by adults and outlets who don't even know them. It's time to start doing transgender stories right. Media reporting on transgender people should consult and follow the GLAAD Media Reference Guide. If you see an instance of transgender defamation in the media, report it to GLAAD.