Monday, November 2, 2015

First Openly Transgender Cheerleader




This past week, news stories have erupted of Anry Feuntes, a 19 year old student at Denair High School in California and the first transgender cheerleader. Anry, formerly known as Henry, was kicked out of her house when she came out to her parents but has been receiving enormous amounts of support from her school and community. She stated: "I've gone to school here since the second grade, and most of the girls on the squad have been here their whole lives, too....So it's kind of hard, like 'Oh Henry'' (Source). Feuntes also stated that "It's so much harder to hide than to come out and be yourself" (source).
However, other schools have not been as progressive as Denair. For example, Gavin Grimm; a transgender student in Virginia, sued his school because of policies requiring him to either use a uni-sex bathroom or the girl's bathroom. (source). We live in a considerably liberal and accepting area in California, conveyed in Denair's district superintendent's response; "all kids are entitled to equal access to public education" (source). Do you think that Feuntes will be able to inspire change in the attitudes towards transponders? Many minorities have gotten their legal rights (women, gay/lesbians, african americans) through determination and gained support, are people like Feuntes (Cailtyn Jenner?) a large part of progression for transgender rights?

Photos-nydailynews


5 comments:

Monica Mai said...

I think it's super awesome that Fuentes came out and decided to pursue cheerleading regardless of the unfortunate stigma and discrimination against transgendered people. The fight for minority rights still has a long way to go, but throughout history, many important milestones within each minority community was reached because of a couple of individuals that decided theye've had enough. Fuentes will definitely be able to inspire change because she did a really brave thing that perhaps many transgendered people are afraid to do because of discrimination. And perhaps, Fuentes's bravery will change the minds of people who once unconsciously or consciously discriminated against transgendered people. With every person that comes out, I think there's definitely a growing movement and progression toward the rights of the LGBTQ+ community.

Crystal Lee said...

I agree with Monica that it's amazing that Fuentes was able to come out and pursue what she wants to do, and I do think it is possible that this could inspire change by directing more attention to the LGBTQ+ community and their protests. However, I do not think that she, as an individual, is going to create much direct change, simply because although individuals such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Susan B. Anthony can help lead a revolution, they still need the power of the masses behind them in order to inflict change. Also, I think that this event and the school's accepting attitude towards her is less of a force of impact and more of a reflector of the position that society has reached in our very liberal region of the country. So, while Fuentes' history-making status serves as a marker for how far we've come, it also forces us to look upon the majority of the country, which is significantly less liberal and tolerant, and ponder how far we have yet to go.

Emma Mester said...

I think that the major influence and proponent for change is actually Denair High School, not Fuentes herself. Denair is setting an example of how to act and how to accept transgender students and help them thrive. Of course, most minority movements have a few symbolic people for the movement, but I'm not sure if Fuentes will be one of them. I completely agree with Crystal.

Olivia Fong said...

Although I do believe that Fuentes will inspire many people, I think the key in furthering the legal rights of minorities is education and impression. Often times we see how current politics, parents, schools and authority figures are able to influence the beliefs and ideologies of young citizens. If these institutions and people are able to impress upon future generations tolerance and equality, I think the country will finally be able to grant minorities the freedom from prejudice and discrimination they have been fighting for for a long time. However, as seen in the Economist article that Marly posted, these people can also impede the process of broadening the legal rights of minorities. Currently, authority figures, such as the superintendent Daniel Cates, have been propagating against this cause. We must focus on properly educating future generations about the changing politics of our country but more importantly the key values that our country abides by, including liberty and equality, to inspire them to take action and fight for an important cause.

Alex Binsacca said...

I would not be surprised if she was a big part of gaining more minority rights. All throughout history there were moments where society was led by example. For instance, the freedom riders. It first started off with a few people, however once they were arrested in Mississippi thousands (maybe even millions) of people across the United States joined together to help fight for desegregation. I also must agree with Olivia that not only examples help, but education helps as well. The future generation of America must be educated that it is not okay to discriminate other people and their ideas/beliefs. However, that also means that we must be accepting of any person's ideas no matter how strange, bizarre, or ridiculous it may seem to us. The reason being is because this is America where all people are created equal, thus everyone's opinion matters even if it is the minority belief. In conclusion to truly be able to lead today's current society to a better tomorrow we must look at/create examples, educate the future generations, and respect each others ideas. So I think that Fuentes will definitely help lead to minority rights as she is creating an example.