- December 22, 2014
Post submitted by Beth Sherouse, former ACLS Public Fellow, HRC Senior Content Manager
Jeydon Loredo’s older brother Kyan has always looked out for him. In a much-publicized case in 2013, Jeydon’s school was not going to allow him to wear a tuxedo in his senior yearbook picture, saying it violated “community standards,” because Jeydon – who identifies as male – was assigned female at birth. Jeydon said he was just going to let it go, but when Kyan found out what was going on, he said “This is not ok.” Kyan took his protest to social media – and HRC.
Kyan helped Jeydon find his voice and, after working with their incredible mom, HRC and the Southern Poverty Law Center, the school changed its mind.
Jeydon was featured on national media, appeared on the cover of HRC’s Equality Magazine, and shared his story at HRC’s inaugural Time to THRIVE Conference this past February, where actress Ellen Page made international headlines by coming out.
This fall, Jeydon joined 10 other LGBT and allied youth as an HRC Foundation Youth Ambassador. He recently spoke at the HRC San Antonio Dinner, where he says he told people how he felt about his experience with the yearbook photos last year. “I really let people in on my emotions, which I haven’t done before.”
Jeydon considers himself a sort of accidental activist. Even though he didn’t really set out to make headlines or be a symbol for transgender youth across the nation, he said, “I stayed with this thing because I wanted to inspire people. Ever since I was little, I wanted to inspire people with music, and then this happened, and it was a way for me to inspire people a different way.”
Jeydon still wants to be a music producer, but he might want to stay in activism too.
“I want to educate people. Even though some people are supportive, many more aren’t. I don’t want to force things on people, but I want to give them a chance to learn.”
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Youth Well-Being Project will be featuring this year’s Youth Ambassadors in a series of blog posts. These amazing young people were invited to participate in the program because of their courage in sharing their own stories, and their demonstrated commitment to speaking out about issues facing all LGBTQ youth. As youth ambassadors, they will represent the HRC Foundation and help to raise awareness about its youth-focused programs to a wider audience, and add their voices and experiences to many of the Foundation's programs, including All Children, All Families, Welcoming Schools, Youth and Campus Engagement, and the annual Time to THRIVE conference.