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Transgender prom queen grateful for support

By Kristen Oelschlagel

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BELLEVILLE (06/07/12) Connor Ferguson, transgender student at Trenton High School, was named this year's prom queen. Contributed photo.

Many prom queens would love to have newspaper articles written about them, but for Connor Ferguson the media attention means much more.

“I really hope that people realize I’m not as different as they think I am,” Ferguson said.

The 18-year-old male-to-female transgender student at Trenton High School was named this year’s prom queen. Since the crowning, Ferguson has been approached by news organizations wanting to tell her story such as CBC, the Toronto Sun and the National Post.

Ferguson said she’s not used to all of the attention and can’t believe people want to read about her just living her life the way she wants to. She said she’s hoping it will change the stigma attached to being transgender.

“I’m not a sinner like I’ve been called, I’m not a man in a dress like many transgender people are portrayed in the media. I live my life like this, I wake up every morning as a woman,” she said.

The comments on many of the articles speak for themselves, there have been mixed reactions to Ferguson. She said she focuses on the positive feedback because the negative responses mean nothing to her.

“People are entitled to their opinions but I don’t need that in my life, I don’t need negativity. I try to be as positive as I can be. It’s definitely breathtaking when you realize people support you as much as they do, I haven’t met more than half of the people supporting me so the fact that they care enough to say something nice really means a lot,” said Ferguson.

She describes her transition into becoming a woman as a roller coaster. In the beginning she got a lot of criticism and derogatory comments. But as she progressed in her transition, people became more accepting. Becoming prom queen affirmed that her friends and peers accept her.

“It was pretty crazy. I was sitting there with friends and they had announced all the other superlatives, and they announced that (prom queen) and I remember just sitting there and laughing because it was so surreal.”

Ferguson plans to attend St. Lawrence College in the fall for hairstyling. Her hope is to someday own her own business and travel around the world opening up different franchises.