Transgender teen kicked out of Christian school crowned Homecoming King by new school
17-year-old Stiles Zuschlag has defied transphobia by being crowned Homecoming King at his new school.
Stiles was forced out of his previous high school for being transgender and going against the school’s religious beliefs, sparking his move to Noble High School in Maine.
Stiles said he had a very high grade point average and was looking to become valedictorian of the Christian school.
But when he went to speak to a school administrator about being recognised as male, he was instead given an ultimatum.
The school ordered him to “confess his sins, stop taking testosterone treatments, and receive Christian counselling.”
And if he refused, then he was expected to find a new school.
So Stiles left Tri-City and enrolled at Noble High, where despite being “terrified,” he made new friends along with the few that he already had there.
Just one month after joining the public school, he was awarded the title of Homecoming King.
Stiles told Huffpost: “This experience feels like a dream.
“It’s something I never thought could have happened to me.”
The heartwarming moment was a follow-up to Stiles making headlines last week after being told by New Hampshire’s Tri-City Christian Academy that he was no longer welcome at the school.
Seacoast Online attempted to get a comment from the school administrator, but they refused to speak about Stiles’ case due to “privacy issues”.
Noble High administrators have said that Stiles is not the first trans student they’ve had.
The school’s director of counselling, Nancy Simard, told Portland Station WCSH-6: “We want all students to feel like they belong here at Noble High School.
“That’s a small thing we can do to help them feel like they’re a part of the community.”
As for the nomination for Homecoming King, Stiles said he originally pursued the title as a joke after seeing an email requesting nominees for King and Queen.
He said: “I asked on Snapchat as a joke to put me in and people actually did it.
“I didn’t really expect them to. I still can’t believe they did that for me.”
Imagine his surprise when he then showed up to the homecoming game and found out that he had won.
“After I won at the homecoming game, I almost started crying,” he said.
“My friends all put me in, people I didn’t even know put me in, everyone voted for me on the final ballot.”
And despite the pain it caused him, Stiles now sees his dismissal from Tri-City as a “blessing from God.”
“I’ve been degraded so much in the past, I’ve conformed to other people’s beliefs and standards just to make them happy and comfortable,” he told HuffPost.
“I’ve put myself in situations really hurtful to my mental health just to keep peace.
“God forced me out of that situation, that school, knowing that my mental health was far more important than my education.”
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“The only reason I stayed at the school for so long was for my education, for my GPA, and to just learn about God,” he added.
“But I was also dying there mentally and I suffered a lot.
“God took me away from that to help me be a better person, to breathe again, to be happy again. I’m so grateful He did that for me.”
Stiles’ story follows that of Blake Brockington, who was the first-ever trans homecoming king to be crowned in the US back in 2014.