Anry Fuentes is 18 and a senior at Denair High School in California, where she is the first transgender person to be on the school's cheerleading team. Anry actually made the team in April when she was still identifying as a boy, using the name Henry. She eventually came out to cheerleading coach Robin Hilton, who has been very supportive, telling TODAY:
Our community has always accepted her from the very beginning. The squad has embraced her and they have been friends forever. Now that she finally feels happy and confident, she wants others to feel that way, too.
She certainly seems to have fans:
Anry has said that the folks around her at Denair have been overwhelmingly supportive, but she still gets nervous about away games:
I was really nervous about what words to use, but the cheerleaders were super sweet, saying, 'We're proud of you, and we love you for who you are...Being at home is easy because you know the faces in the crowd, but at an away game, you don't know who's on the other side or if someone is going to say something. I get a little scared, but actually our away games have been really good. No one has said anything bad.
Unfortunately, Anry's mom has been struggling with the idea. Anry first came out as gay, and when that didn't quite fit, realized she was transgender. She says her mom seems overwhelmed. Part of the reason Anry is coming out with her story is to help other young transgender people struggling with issues of acceptance. She loves cheerleading and has a found a place on the field where she can be herself, but hopes one day being transgender won't be so shocking that it needs to make the news:
It should be something normal, something no one really worries about. It should be all about just being another member of the team.
Rah rah rah!