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August 22, 2022
Blake Schroeder
Grade: 12 School: Village Oaks High School District: Lincoln Unified School District ACSA region: 7 Blake Schroeder is finally living life as her true self. After years of struggling with her identity, Blake came out as transgender. While she struggled with her transition, she found support from the caring staff at Village Oaks High School, an alternative school in Stockton. Blake became an activist and mentor on campus, including starting an LGBTQ+ club at the school. And this past May, Blake graduated from Village Oaks High.
Your childhood was far from easy. Can you share some of the challenges you’ve faced over the years and how you’ve overcome them? In my home, it wasn’t OK for me to be transgender. So I had a lot of backlash with that. The home was very unstable. There was a lack of structure and just a lack of a lot of things. I ended up moving out at the age of 16 and just couch surfing after that.
Can you describe your journey and what it’s like to live life as your true self? It was hard. Since I was little, I’ve always had feelings of liking feminine things and wanting to wear dresses. I felt like I was in the wrong body. I’ve been an educator to my family and other people who have come into my circle about trans people and their feelings. But to be honest, if it were up to me, I would not be trans because of how difficult it is on a day to day.
How did your school community support you during your transition? They did absolutely everything in their power to be there for me through my transition. When things at home were not good because they didn’t agree with me being trans, I could come talk to them about it. When I was feeling very dysphoric, I was able to have time set to deal with that. They accommodated me by allowing me to use the female restroom.
You mentioned you left your house at the age of 16. What was it like trying to balance school and homelessness? It was very, very hard. It took a lot of drive and determination to push myself to get an education and even keeping up on my own mental and emotional health during that very unstable time in my life.
What advice would you have to other students who may be facing similar challenges? No matter how bad it gets or how hard it gets, you can always do it. You’re strong enough. You’re brave enough. You’re determined enough to get through anything.
ACSA R7 2022 ESS Blake Schroeder.
School becomes a safe place to thrive
ACSA 2022 Region 7 ESS Blake Schroeder.