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Anry Fuentes of Denair, Calif., made history this year when she became her high school's first varsity transgender cheerleader. She told People magazine, "When I was first trying out for the cheer squad, I wasn't like, 'I'm going to be the first transgender girl.' I was just trying out because I wanted to be a cheerleader, and I wanted to dance and cheer."
Fuentes had tried out for the varsity team twice before. When the high school senior made the squad in April, she was still identifying as a boy by the name of Henry.
Fuentes explains, "I knew that I didn't feel like most boys do. 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.'"
Once she decided to transition, she told her teammates and they wholeheartedly supported her. She even got help from her classmates raising funds to buy the female cheerleading uniform, according to People mag.
Unfortunately, support at home has been much harder to come by for the Latina teen who says she was kicked out of her home when she came out as transgender to her mom.
Fuentes says about her mother, "She told me if I didn't start dressing like the gender I was issued when I was born that she was going to throw all my stuff away. That gave me the hint that she didn't want me there anymore because she knew I wasn't going to stop dressing as I felt. I packed my stuff and I left, and I went to live with another cheerleader."
Still, Fuentes has been working on her relationship with her mother and is confident that she will be back home soon. Let's hope so because being accepted and supported by her family will go a long way in giving her the continued strength to deal with the many challenges that come with being a transgender Latina in our sometimes less-than-accepting society.