Gay Star News
Charlie Baca photo via TwinCities.com
Mel Gonzalez photo via ABC Local
Blake Brockington photo via WBTV
Charlie Baca was named Homecoming King for this year’s dance at Irondale High School in Minnesota, and no one was more surprised than he.
At a school assembly, listening to the announcements, he heard the name Charlie Baca called out as this year’s king but he didn’t pay too much attention because it’s just been two months since Charlie Baca came out as transgender and he’s still not used to the name:
"It’s still new [for me] being called Charlie, so when I heard it at first I was like ‘OK.’ And then I was like ‘Oh wait, that’s me! Oh my gosh, I won. My heart was beating out of my chest, and I’m sure my face went bright red, and my friends in the stands were all hooting and hollering. It was just really euphoric because I’ve been trying so hard to make a difference this year as my senior year, and being crowned king is a really big step that I didn’t think I’d accomplish."
It’s not just a big accomplishment for Charlie, but a big accomplishment for his friends, his schoolmates, and his school; it wasn’t so long ago that a gay Homecoming King or Queen was considered unusual, but the times, they do change.
Charlie says he hopes to use this honor as a stepping stone toward creating a club for LGBTQI students at Irondale, another first for the school. He hopes the club can act as a support group for LGBTI students who are being bullied.
"I just want to let as many people as possible know that it’s OK, and that there are people you don’t even know about that are supporting you.”
Charlie is quite likely the first trans male student to be named Homecoming King in Minnesota, but he’s not the first in the country. That honor belongs to Texas student — that’s right, y’all, Texas — Mel Gonzales, top left who was named his school’s Homecoming King in September of last year, as well as North Carolina student Blake Brockington in February 2014 — though Blake, bottom left, tragically took his own life in March of this year.
So, the times do change, and with students like Charlie and Mel being chosen as Homecoming Kings at their respective schools, and with those student bodies so welcoming and accepting and understanding, perhaps we won’t see any more trans students like Blake Brockington who tried as hard as he could until he just stopped trying.
Trans Lives Matter, y’all.