Stephen Alexander made an impression on Glocester, Rhode Island as a kid as a local star athlete. Now that Stephen’s all grown up, he’s got a new goal in his conservative hometown: finding acceptance as the country’s first openly transgender high school coach. Outsports.com first reported the story.
When Stephen returned to Glocester three years ago after transitioning in New York City, he faced an uphill battle. The small, rural community is, to say the least, not known for its diversity or liberalism. With a population of less than 10,000 people, 98% of which are white, residents tend to be staunchly conservative.
But with some time, honest conversations, and a solid support network, Stephen has been able to educate his community about what it means to be transgender, starting with his closest family and friends.
One of Stephen's former coaches said about the young man's oppenness, “When you don’t know the individual, you don’t know how to deal with them, how to accept them,” said George, “But once you know the person, then it becomes a lot easier to accept the process…It’s the same person.”
On the court and off, Stephen is teaching the people of Glocester, young and old, the meaning of teamwork and working together. While there are still strides to be made, Stephen’s inspiring story is one of resiliency, dedication, and in many ways, sportsmanship.