#SouthernStories for #GivingTuesday: Sage Lovell

Kick off the holidays by giving back. Join GLAAD on #GivingTuesday to raise critical funds and expand #SouthernStories, GLAAD's project to put a human face on the challenges LGBT people face in the American South. For #GivingTuesday, GLAAD is sharing some of the stories behind this campaign. Take a look at the story of Sage Lovell, from Marietta, Georgia.

To me, this entire experience involving homecoming has been one of the most exciting, fun, and fulfilling moments of my life. Being on homecoming court was the first time that I have ever done anything so definitively feminine, something that, at least within my school, is an undisputed female role. It helped me cement my place as a woman to myself and the world and has erased any doubts that may have been lurking within the recesses of my mind with a simple feeling: I am happy, this is who I am supposed to be; female. My appearance to my community as well has, in my opinion, been improved. Since there were a few articles that came out about my experiences on court, many people have had a chance to see into my life; to see my experiences. I have also, hopefully, been able to bring awareness to transgender issues in the south. I hope that people saw one of my articles and did some research on trans people and found positive information and changed their viewpoint. I also hope that, in becoming a somewhat prevalent community figure, I have helped pave the way for future trans teens to progress in any way they can, be that in coming out, expressing themselves, or even running to be on a homecoming court like I did. All in all my goal was to make a mark, even if a small one, and to help transgender visibility and future progression. I believe I have done that.

You can also take a look at GLAAD's interview with Sage and her family at GLAAD: All Access.

GLAAD gives voice to LGBT people and allies by amplifying inspiring and impactful stories aimed at leveraging the power of the media to change culture. Are you a Southerner who has a story you believe deserves attention from GLAAD and the media? Share it with us. We may feature your story in the GLAAD Newsroom and with local, regional or national media. And be sure to support GLAAD on #GivingTuesday.

UPDATE: In February 2015, Sage changed her name to Eris. All posts after that date will refer to her as Eris.