Homecoming queen at NJ high school is who? (and what?)

Congratulations are in order … I think. And not just to 17-year-old Jae Irizarry, who was named homecoming queen of Trenton Central High School, but to the community at large for breaking another glass ceiling. Last year around this same time, a lesbian couple in the appropriately named city of Surprise, Ariz., was denied the chance to be named Willow Canyon High School’s first homecoming queen and queen.

Jae Irizarry, you see, is transgender. Irizarry was born a he and has been identifying as a she for only about a year. The teen’s proud mom Cookie told NJ.com, “She might have been born my son, but she is my daughter and she will be in my life.”

Jae Irizarry (right) being escorted by Vice Principal Dana Williamson (credit: Mary Iuvone/For The Times)
Irizarry, wrong number: Jae Irizarry (right) being escorted by Vice Principal Dana Williamson (credit: Mary Iuvone/For The Times)

Cookie Irizarry admits she initially had misgivings — not about her son’s revelation that he had switched “genders” but about his plans to run for homecoming queen. “Negativity came into my mind,” she said. “As a Christian, I prayed to have protection over her.”

Trenton Central High’s principal, the also-appropriately name Hope Grant, is also bullish on young Irizarry’s decision to self-identify as a female, telling reporters:

Here you have a young person walking in their [sic] authentic self, every single day. We need to accept people, in whatever form or fashion (they come in. [sic]

We also need to accept reality — and that is that the science on whether transgenderism is a mental disorder is far from “settled” (to use a preferred liberal formulation). One expert who remains skeptical about the wholesale endorsement of what has come to be known euphemistically as “gender dysphoria” is Paul McHugh, of the Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Department. McHugh, who is a pioneer in gender reassignment surgery, still views transgenderism by its longstanding clinical designation: as body dysmorphic disorder. McHugh cites studies that show that between 70% and 80% of children who express transgender feelings “spontaneously lose those feelings” over time.

Once the presidency of Barack Obama becomes a distant memory, the liberal fascination with breaking down load-bearing walls in the name of “tolerance” may be replaced by a return to normalcy. What will happen to all the Jae Irizarrys and other orphans of “hope and change” once reality sets in?

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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