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Trans Teen Elected Homecoming Queen Amid Accusations of Rigged Voting


Trenton Central High School crowned its first trans homecoming queen, Jae Irizarry, this past Friday. Not long after that, a story came out in the local paper, The Trentonian, saying that the “vote was a fraud.” The accusation comes from an anonymous source at the school with “intimate knowledge of activities” that occurred around the election.

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Supposedly a teacher “wanted to make history” by stuffing the ballot box, and “didn’t care if they got fired for it.” This is in opposition to other stories from students saying that people stuffed the ballot box as a practical joke. Ah, yes, the “lol i trol u” defense. Of course.

The story gets kind of squicky around peoples’ reactions to Irizarry’s crowning. Marie “Murf” Antionette, mother of one of the students at TCHS, had this to say:

We are not bashing the [transgender teen]; how [she] chooses to live [her] life is not our issue. But the teen is registered at the school as a male. So why was the teacher allowed to let this person compete with other females?

The bracketed corrections shown are how her statement appears in the story. I can’t help but be curious as to what words they replaced. I’ve got a feeling I can guess, judging by “Murf”‘s other comment:

The young man who was crowned king refused to walk with another male. It was a disrespectful slap in the face to the young men and women who were there.

Sure. And calling a trans woman male isn’t a slap in the face at all. Uh-huh. Supposedly, during the homecoming game, alumni who were disappointed with the election decided to leave early, not staying for the crowning ceremony. That isn’t a slap in the face, either, is it? Nope. Nuh-uh.

In an update, another reporter stated that the high school denied any foul play or rigging. The update also delves into many more of the reactions. For example, the Facebook comments around the story were, well, pretty Facebook-y.

It’s like telling a young lady, (“he’s more woman than you”). Remember young minds are impressionable and in developmental stages it can be devastating. Think about all the little girls who worked hard to get the title and what is their perception of themselves now?

Listen. I’m going to say it again. Trans women are women. It’s not hard. Frankly, I’m getting pretty sick of having to say this, and I’m sure plenty of other people are as well. This ridiculous “othering” that occurs because people can’t handle that one fact is emotionally devastating. What’s worse is that these people believe they’re the good guys, that they’re not on the wrong side of history because they’re “defending” all the little girls and everything. But of course that defense comes at the cost of viciously attacking another girl.

There’s a bright side to this story, though.

Irizarry refused to let the vitriol and naysaying get her down. According to Jezebel, she said she’s received only support and love from TCHS staff and students. It seems that all the backlash and negative comments came from parents and other adults latching on to the story.

At first I didn’t want to run at all, but students came up to me and were like, ‘You should do it, I feel like you can win,’ so I ran basically last minute, and surprisingly I won!

I’m guessing maybe that [anonymous source] doesn’t support the LGBTQ community, so I suppose they made it up. But the voting is correct, and everything is great. I won fair and square.

Way to go, queen. Hold your crowned head up high. You won, fair and square, and no amount of tearing down from bitter parents can take that away from you.

(image via Shutterstock/Andrey Kuzmin)

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Jessica Lachenal
Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (, and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters ( She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.

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