Forgive the lengthy post, The following is a note that was posted by Oak, a trans teen we highlighted last week, when he was denied his homecoming king crown by a bigoted school administration. Tonight, Oak speaks out for the first time.
I am Oak. A 17 year old kid just trying to make his way in life. All you currently know about me is that I am a transmale and was denied Homecoming King because of my anatomical gender. This is just a small snippet of my life that has happened a few days ago. I am proud to say that I encouraged people to discover themselves or helped initiate a movement to gain rights for LGBT people. But, this isn’t the only aspect of my life. Everyday, I still go to school, take notes, do homework, study for classes, and participate in extra curricular activities. I never imagined myself being the sort of “Martin Luther King Jr.” or the LGBT community. Consequently, this has been very overwhelming and hard on my personal life. Even though this all seems crazy and unimaginable, I have realized more and more that I am blessed. I am blessed to have a supportive family, supportive friends, supportive state, supportive country, and supportive nation.
I am a wonderful person to have been given this job to start the initiation of a peaceful movement to gain our rights as individuals. I may be the perfect person for this job as of now, but everyone still needs to realize that I am still a kid, student, and goof-ball that loves to hang out and enjoy every moment. Therefore, I hope that this situation can migrate towards the general push for LGBT rights, and away from the Homecoming situation. I only say this because Homecoming is passed, and that moment where the announcer calls your name and you walk out onto the field and the past Homecoming King and Queen crown you is over. It can never be re-created. But, what can be created is a strong ally of people to stand up for the rights of their fellow friends and fight for equal rights among all. I want to be involved, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t want to be the forefront person forever. Other people need to stand up with me and declare what is theirs. I can’t do this alone, it is too stressful for one minor to do. Along with my AP Classes, NHS, Link Leaders program, Band, and family, I have been trying to keep up with people who want to contact me and give them the response they deserve. I truly am sorry if I haven’t gotten to you, but I will try my best to make it happen.
I commend you all for showing your support, for it takes bravery to be the one to stand up for another as well. No one is a leader until they have their first follower, and as of this moment, I have 9,665 visible followers, and many, many others who are followers at heart. I want everyone to know from me that I did not do this for attention or what they say “5 minuets of fame.” I honestly didn’t even think this story would leave my community. My motivation to initially speak with Wood TV 8 was that I wanted my school and the entire community to know the truth of the story to come from me and no one else. I did it to eliminate rumors that could quite possibly ruin the reputation of fellow students, teachers, or administrators.
To Mona Shores: My intention was to never degrade the quality of our school district or make the students, teachers, or administrators look bad, weak, or malicious. I want everyone to know that I have the upmost respect for the school board, for they have worked with me to help make my high school experience as smooth as possible. I love Mrs. Bustard with all of my heart because she is a wonderful woman, principal, and friend and only has the best in mind. The teachers are wonderful because no matter what happens, they are always understanding and another ear to talk to.
Finally, to the student body of Mona Shores, especially the Senior Class, for not discriminating agains me and just accepting me for me: Oak. I hope that people don’t think Mona Shores is a horrible school. It is a very nurturing environment and offers many opportunities that many students never have. Although Mona Shores may have made a bad decision in this case, in my opinion, I still respect my district. Yes, it was unfair to me, but we also need to look at the positive things they have done for me: They worked with me before band camp this year and tried with all their might to eliminate the awkwardness of rooming with females, but law overcame; yet, they were clever and kindly offered me a single cabin to myself. This is Mona Shores being cooperative. Another instance is them allowing me to wear the male uniform of a tux for band performances and the navy blue cap and gown for graduation. Even though they may seem like minute contributions to my happiness, they make immense differences in how I respect them. Another thing they are working on is my gym class, hopefully setting up an online course to eliminate locker rooms for me. Mona Shores is not a horrible school district and no one on the administration should be overlooked.
Please respect my words, for I have thought about them for a while. This is most articulate I could ever be with how I feel and how I want you all to feel as well. I hope this brings more understand to all about my life and my feelings.
Have fun tomorrow showing support with your “Oak is my King” shirts. I think that is a very professional way to show support and make a statement. Thank you all for being so very kind, encouraging, and heart-warming. Know that I will remember this for the rest of my life. Keep on keeping on the support for LGBT rights!