Senior Anry Fuentes Becomes First Transgender Cheerleader At Her High School

Anry Fuentes has always wanted to be a cheerleader, and when she made the varsity team, she also made history. The 17-year-old senior, who used to go by the name Henry, became the first transgender cheerleader at Denair High School in California. After struggling with gender and sexual identity throughout her adolescence, Anry realized her junior year that she was transgender. According to People, “I knew that I didn’t feel like most boys do,” she says. “My freshman year I came out as gay. I didn’t even know what gay was. Going into my junior year, I started doing research. I was like, ‘Am I really gay?’ And I was like, ‘No, I’m transgender.’ ” When she made the team, she admitted she cried a little bit. “It was the best moment of my life,” Fuentes told “I’ve been wanting to be a cheerleader forever. It made me sad when I didn’t make the team last year, so I just thought in my senior year it has to happen.” And it did. Her teammates have also been totally supportive. “They were really nice,” she says. “They were like, ‘We support you for who you are. We love you, and it’s not going to change anything. We’re not going to see you any differently.’ ” Unfortunately, it wasn’t as easy on her mother. She moved out to live with another cheerleader as they work through their issues. In the meantime, she’s focusing on helping others like her. “I’m kind of glad that it’s getting out, so it can help others who are struggling,” she says. “I have been getting a lot of really nice messages from transgender girls and parents who are like, ‘Your story is really touching, you’re so strong’…It made me feel good, because I see that I’m helping.”

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