A school district in Chula Vista, California has named its first ever transgender homecoming queen.
Sweetwater Union High School students voted for Karl Cruz, 18, to wear the crown, and then roared with applause when her name was called during the homecoming game earlier this month. She said the honor and warm reception came as a surprise.
“I was completely shocked,” she told ABC 10. “Everyone started cheering for me, I didn’t really expect that from anyone.”
“After the fireworks, I just started crying my eyes out,” she added about the impact of realizing she was the district’s first trans homecoming queen.
Principal Maribel Gavin (above, with Cruz) said she wasn’t as surprised by the outcome of the vote, but did offer she was “extremely proud.”
“Every single student should be accepted for who they are,” she asserted. “They are all wonderful human beings who are here to learn.”
Cruz is an honor roll student and is involved in several school clubs. She shared her gratitude for all who supported her, including her family, friends, and teachers.
She told ABC 10 being honored as homecoming queen shows society is evolving on how it views the LGBTQ community. A high school in Huntington Beach, California crowned a trans homecoming queen in 2013.
Watch the interview with Cruz below.