As Western Washington students get dolled up for prom season, one school in particular is making national headlines. Brooklynn Buenaventura was voted prom queen at Renton High School.
Buenaventura was originally born “Bruce” – “like Bruce Jenner,” Buenaventura said.
“I’m not hiding anything, anymore,” Buenaventura told King 5. “I’m still scared but it’s about being brave. I want to tell other transgender [people] that it’s ok to be out, we’re not different.”
With supportive parents by her side and friends to help guide her way, Buenaventura appears to have a wealth of support behind her. Mom Rebecca Jimenez even helped her get ready for the event.
“I’m just proud of her and I hope she will be successful and do whatever she wants to do,” Jimenez said.
It wasn’t always this easy for Buenaventura to express her true self. A few years prior, she wore a tux to prom.
“I really wanted to get out of that, I felt like I was hiding” she said.
Even with familial support, the critics seem quick to judge Buenaventura. She wrote on her Facebook wall Sunday, “Regardless of the hate that some people have against me it’s nice to have most of the people back me up! But IDGAF bout you haters out there. You guys are just making me stronger than ever and more confident than ever before.”
With the spotlight squarely highlighting her journey into adulthood, Buenaventura had a message to other transgender students: “You just have to be who you are, don’t be scared to open up.”