Post submitted by Maureen McCarty, former HRC Deputy Director of Marketing

Blake Brockington, a senior in Charlotte, North Carolina, is breaking down barriers at East Mecklenburg High School.
The 17-year-old transgender student is running for homecoming king, aiming to set a positive example for younger transgender students.
Though coming out as transgender his sophomore year was a gradual and difficult task, he hopes he is paving the way for other students who struggle with their identity, Brockington told QNotes.
Even in light of the many challenges he’s faced with acceptance – from school counselors to fellow students to even having to move out of his own home and into foster car -- Brockington is a positive role model for other kids in his region, including a young transgender student he mentors.
“I feel like if I do this, that’s one red flag for everybody to say, ‘Nobody should be scared to be themselves and everybody should have an equal opportunity to have an enjoyable high school experience,’” he said.
“Blake sounds like an amazing young man,” said Ellen Kahn, who directs HRC Foundation’s Children, Youth and Families Program. “Through the work we do here, we have the opportunity to see so many teens like Blake changing hearts and minds through their leadership in the community. They shouldn’t have to do it alone. Our programs help to surround students like Blake with the support they need to thrive at home, in school and in their community.”
HRC Foundation’s Children, Youth and Families Program staff members work on a range of issues supporting LGBT youth, including adoption and foster care, school climate change and youth well-being work. In two weeks, HRC Foundation’s inaugural Time to Thrive conference will give more than 550 educators, counselors and others working with LGBT youth the tools they need for success.
Brockington’s school awards the homecoming king and queen crowns to the individual who raises the most money for Mothering Across Continents, an international non-profit.
The winner will be named this Friday.

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