Community Rallies In Support of School's First Transgender Homecoming Queen

From Landon Patterson's Facebook profile

Kansas City, MO (KCTV) -- Students are rallying around a transgender homecoming queen at a Northland high school.

Landon Patterson came out as a transgender female last year while staying active as a cheerleader and show choir member at Oak Park High School. Classmates made their acceptance clear through the annual nomination and voting process for homecoming queen.

She was given her crown as she stood next to her mom, Debbie Hall, on the school's football field last month.

On Thursday, members of the Westboro Baptist Church plan to protest the school, but students and members of the community are striking first with a rally of support at Oak Grove Park.

The protest is scheduled at 1 p.m. at the corner of North Oak Trafficway and Northeast 79th Terrace.

However, district officials says they are opposed to any kind of protest or any counter protesting. Students are not allowed to leave school for a protest, and Westboro protestors cannot be on school grounds.

The school district is encouraging students to stay away from the protests, but they have informed police and deputies to be at the school for safety.

Some students say they want to counter protest with love since they say Westboro is protesting with hate.

Landon always dreamed of riding in the parade and joining the ranks of the high school tradition, but never thought classmates would look at her as a female.

"I've dreamed about it since my freshman year, but I never knew it was possible for me," she said. "Just knowing that I did this, and that I just broke some barriers, I can't even put it into words what I'm feeling right now. I'm just excited and hope this is going to help others out there."

Patterson said she spent most of her life identifying as a gay male, but always knew there was something more.

"There was always something so much deeper inside me. I finally realized, I am female. I feel like I'm a girl on the inside," Patterson said.



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