“Break boundaries! Make history! Rock that sash,” says transgender teenager Charlie Baum, who was crowned homecoming queen in Georgia after years of bullying. Not since the scene in Mean Girls when Lindsay Lohan breaks her crown into pieces has a high school dance made me this emotional.
Baum, who lives near Atlanta, was crowned by Forsyth Central High School on Saturday. The teen says the recognition was “so validating” after experiencing years of “death threats and plenty of public humiliation” at the hands of her classmates. That changed when her friends nominated her for homecoming queen.
“I went from feeling ready to get out of high school so that I could be normal and just feel like a normal girl — not so much of an oddity or outcast — to feeling like there was a majority of students who support me,” Baum told Pink News. “Winning a queen title was never something that seemed feasible to me, so it’s a very good feeling to know that I was wrong. This let me know that I do have a chance at normalcy and royalty...I hope that it helped to normalise and humanise trans people.”
Baum’s family attended the homecoming celebration, and when her win was announced they erupted in “so much screaming. They were in the bleachers and they just ran down and all started hugging me — and then there was even more screaming...My mum was behind me crying with my dad, and my grandma was also in the bleachers, full-on funeral sobbing with joy. It was a happy moment for all of us.”
the votes are in and history was made! the first transwoman to be nominated for and to win hoco court in forsyth county! • this year harassment and just straight up bullying i’ve dealt with have made it feel very disparaged me from really enjoying myself at school and my senior year, but this win, to me, represents a more progressive and accepting future in one of the most conservative and backwards counties in Georgia. if this tranny can do it, so can you • face, of course : @juviasplace masquerade palette @katvondbeauty liner @urbandecaycosmetics pencil liner @givefacecos lashes : @toofaced btw foundation and bronzer @tartecosmetics shape tape @narsissist blush @anastasiabeverlyhills brows n highlight : @tartecosmetics lip paint topped with @givenchybeauty red lipstick : @fashionnova earrings @pleasershoes heels • #TheseAreForAttention #makeup #drag #dragqueen #lipstick #tg #ts #lashes #highlight #makeupartist #tranny #localqueen #beauty #trans #transgender #tgirl #gay #queer #eyeliner #lipstick #eyeshadow #eyebrows
Growing up in conservative Georgia was “scary” for Baum, who knew she was a girl as early as elementary school, but was aware her “very intense love for Hannah Montana and literally ANYTHING pink was frowned upon.” In high school, Baum first identified as gay and began experimenting with drag as a form of self expression, which incurred the ridicule of teenagers, who are notoriously awful.
“This year, in particular, I spent the first semester not out as trans but instead going to school regularly with crazy dramatic makeup,” Baum explained. “This angered plenty of people, some to the point of harassment.” Baum was heavily bullied online, but turned to social media as an outlet, and came out as trans in an Instagram post in December.
Baum has weathered the harassment with the help of her friends, who nominated her for homecoming queen. “They had seen me have a rough year with a lot of students and they were also aware that for a trans girl to be nominated and possibly win in this county is not just surprising but also historic.” Baum was “hell-bent” on winning, “not just ‘cause I like looking pretty, but also for the LGBT community.” We love a humble queen, long may she reign!