UNI homecoming court member aspires to raise awareness

2013-10-09T09:00:00Z 2014-07-20T12:31:14Z UNI homecoming court member aspires to raise awarenessMacKENZIE ELMER ​mackenzie.elmer@wcfcourier.com Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

CEDAR FALLS |Steven Sanchez is not afraid to flaunt his feminine side.

The 21-year-old communication studies major is on the University of Northern Iowa's homecoming court and aspires to be the first transgender homecoming queen representing the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and others.

“I want to raise visibility of the LGBT community on campus,” he said. “And I’ve never felt more accepted than I have here at UNI.”

Sanchez, a board member of UNI Proud, an advocacy group, dressed up like singer Selena Gomez for his drag performance at the Homecoming Royalty Competition Tuesday night.

Students voted for their favorite of five king and five queen candidates at the competition. The results will be revealed on Friday.

His flashy, pop performance -- complete with a wig and dance moves -- sparked roaring cheers from the packed auditorium in Maucker Union.

Growing up in San Antonio ,Tex., Sanchez said he was always attracted to more feminine things, but was severely bullied for it throughout primary school.

“I had a Britney Spears backpack I always carried around and they always made fun of me for that,” he said.

It got so bad, he dropped out of school and got his diploma through a dual-credit degree program.

“As I got older, I researched online and started exploring my own opinions and identities ... Now I see it’s OK to like these things,” he said.

Sanchez said he has always felt inspired by powerful women. He attributes his confidence to an aunt who supported him throughout his childhood.

“I think everyone has masculine and feminine sides and I don’t think it should be labeled ... I’m comfortable with both,” he said.

Contestant Kristin Stande, also competing for crown, doesn't find it odd that Sanchez is in the race for queen.

“I think it’s awesome that he’s just going for it and doing what he loves. To just be yourself and let people see you for who you are,” she said.

Copyright 2015 Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(8) Comments

  1. kingpellinore
    Report Abuse
    kingpellinore - October 12, 2013 2:01 pm
    I'm confused- does this person actually identify as female or did they just do a drag performance for this event? The article is not clear.
    Either way, it is good to know the schools are becoming more progressive.
  2. erotitoxia
    Report Abuse
    erotitoxia - October 12, 2013 11:36 am
    As somebody that is not BOUND to the bible or ANY OTHER religious texts. And as somebody that does not appreciate it when people have to bring religion into everything. Trans people have been around for a long time. They are a small portion of the population and they have rights as anybody else does. But, this country does not have a King or a Queen. And actuall UNI did not have a homecoming court for a long time. Do away with the homecoming court altogether..It is not needed and as a UNI graduate not really wanted.
  3. avee
    Report Abuse
    avee - October 12, 2013 7:18 am
    Pickings at UNI must be pretty slim! This is just plain stupid !
  4. b786alo
    Report Abuse
    b786alo - October 10, 2013 8:40 am
    Call me old-fashioned...I think we should pick the Homecoming royalty based upon their membership in all that is UNI. We can no longer pick the candidate that puts in long hours on Student Senate events or volunteers time as a Student Ambassador. We can't talk about grades, clubs, Greek life, community involvement or even the fact that the candidates like puppies and kittens. No, sadly in this politically correct world, you either vote for the transgendered candidate or you're prejudiced. The fringe can only succeed by backing the majority into a corner and then calling us names when we don't support their cause. Pick the candidate that represents ALL that is great about UNI....and if that candidate happens to be part of the the LGBT community then it's a non-issue. Some things can't be made into watershed events...some things are just mundane events.
  5. alizizi
    Report Abuse
    alizizi - October 09, 2013 10:46 pm
    Your hateful comments are why some of us are afraid to leave our homes, for fear of being ridiculed and hated just for being who we are. Steven is obviously not flaunting his sexuality, he is embracing himself, this isn't just about what goes on in the bedroom. Besides you heterosexuals flaunt yourselves everywhere, media, public, you just don't realize it because you are part of the "normal" dominant group in our society. Pick up a damn book and learn a thing or two about other people.
  6. horsehugs
    Report Abuse
    horsehugs - October 09, 2013 7:36 pm
    to the haters within the community who are making "perverse" and "abusive" comments, you might want to remember that 'different family member' in your own family, who sees this happening and is going to COME OUT BIG AND STRONG because of the STRENGTH, CHARACTER, GUTS of this Steven Sanchez. I know this young man. if ANYONE deserves to be crowned queen, it's this entertainer/performer/hero-of-young-iowa-trans/history-making LOLA! STEVEN, REMEMBER---"the village dog barks but the caravan moves on..." As a 3rd generation grad of UNI with a 4th generation approaching in may 2014...I am MORE THAN UNI PROUD to admit and support my alma mater!
  7. IowanAtheist
    Report Abuse
    IowanAtheist - October 09, 2013 11:37 am
    And this is exactly why people in the minority feel like they need to defend their life styles.,.,,
  8. victor672
    Report Abuse
    victor672 - October 09, 2013 10:01 am
    It used to be "celebrate diversity", but that wasn't enough. Now it's "celebrate perversity" and the entire community is invited to join in. We've sure come a long way, right WCF censors?
Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Follow the Courier

Most Popular

Featured Businesses

Circulation Specials