Hundreds of people joined to support her during the homecoming parade holding signs that read, "Queen Cassie!"
Transgender children often face the scrutiny of discrimination in school with rarely anybody to support them. They are usually the butt of jokes and collective pranks just on the account of being different. Cassie, a trans girl, was the victim of such a prank at her high school homecoming parade. However, the teenager turned the prank around and decided to own her identity in the best way possible.
Her mother, Kat Steiner, told WCPO that Cassie learned her classmates had elected her as homecoming princess. She was extremely happy at the time but that joy was stripped away the very next day. Steiner said that a guidance counselor contacted her and informed her that parents had called the school saying that their children had elected Cassie just as a joke. "There were students who thought it would be just funny and hysterical to have Cassie as the princess. We went from being on such an exciting high to then it was just so heartbreaking as a parent," she added. "From the get-go, she said, 'Mom I understand what this means and I understand that I am going to make history as the first trans princess at Mariemont and Cincinnati.'"
Cassie told Fox 19, "Originally, I was really, really, really excited. Just the thought that I had a chance to make history here." According to the family, school officials contacted them to apologize and ask if she wanted to opt out of homecoming court. However, she decided not to step back. She told WLWT, "If I step down then there's nothing I'm getting out of it. There's nothing showing that I'm proud."
"If anything, hearing the negativity empowered me because it made me realize that they are going out of their way to notice me. They're noticing how bold I am," she added. "If you did vote for me with negative intentions thank you because I still won the vote and I'm willing to advocate for my community as a whole."
Cassie claims that, while some kids felt it would be amusing to make fun of her, many of her peers have shown strong support for her. She said, "I don’t think that it was truly a joke. I think that part of it really was genuine and that a lot of people have my back and do support me. That’s what gives me hope." She continued, "I think it’s really empowering because finding myself as a whole was really hard, but now that I’m here and a better version of myself, I’m so much happier. People in my class and peers have noticed that." She believes it's difficult to feel comfortable in your own skin when you're perceived as different from everyone else. She credits her support system for assisting her in overcoming her self-doubt.
She said, "It was probably from my mom. She kind of built me up with this confidence, and yes, she named the precautions and what might be happening, but I was willing to take the head to head." Steiner took to social media to find supporters for cheering Cassie as the homecoming princess. Her post for an invitation to the homecoming parade was shared more than 1,000 times. Carly Rose, the owner of Clear Eyes and Aesthetics, opened her business on Friday as a pick-up place for people to get solidarity signs and join Cassie.
Several people showed up to the homecoming parade to support Cassie with inspirational signs and placards, according to LGBTQ Nation. One read, "You are more than a princess. You are a QUEEN!" while another said, "We love our warrior." Cassie was extremely thankful for the tremendous support. She said, "Having those people escort me and be there for me is really empowering and showing that the school is there for me. And they are 100 percent supportive."