PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — When Trixie Henry takes the stage for graduation ceremonies, a diploma isn’t the only thing she’ll celebrate.
“When I found out I would be able to cross the stage with ‘Trixie’ instead of being deadnamed publicly, yea it was a huge weight off my shoulders,” said Henry, who turns 18 years old in a few days.
Rebecca Winn is proud to have supported Trixie and other trans children. “Being able to look around your community and finding allies is itself a help and it’s important to be able to support these children,” said Winn, who also had Trixie’s name legally changed in York County Circuit Court.
The all-clear comes as Human Rights Campaign reports this year more than 300 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced across the country, including in the Commonwealth.
Trixie’s attorney says a 2020 Virginia Law on the treatment of transgender students in public elementary and secondary schools is under attack.
“There were bills introduced in the Virginia legislature to limit or repeal the aspects of the law that protects students like Trixie,” said Winn.
And while the school system disputes who told Trixie what and when — the controversy is over. Trixie says as the bell sounds on her high school years she can finally hear hope.
“You can’t really understand what it’s like being treated well if you haven’t ever been. It feels great; it feels fantastic that they are doing this but it really should have been from the start. I hope that next year no one has to go through this,” said Henry.
She graduates on June 3 and will enroll at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond with plans to study Anthropology.