Amber Va has grown accustomed to the stares when walking the halls at Long Beach Poly High School.
The 17-year-old senior, who identifies as a transgender woman, said she’s been called nearly every kind of slur over the years. Va said she realized that she was a transgender woman her freshman year, after identifying as a gay male during middle school.
“Growing up, you could say I was in the closet,” she said. “Because I was. I always had a feminine personality, I was bullied and harassed for all of that back in middle school. I’ve been called every single thing you can imagine. It was hard. Children can be harsh.”