Last year Culver City High School witnessed the first student in their history to leave a female in the summer and return, in transition, as a male the following fall. One month later, the student, Niko Walker, was elected as the first Transgender Homecoming King in the United States to keep his crown. Culver City High School birthed the beginning of a movement that is slowly getting recognition for their participation in a defining moment in history.
On Saturday night March 12, Niko and fellow student and GSA President Carmen Jovel took their commitment and passion for advocacy to the red carpet as proud members of the press corps, reporting for Kid Scoop Media at the Human Rights Campaign Gala.
It was their first time, but no one would ever have known by how effortlessly they asked questions of Patrick Murphy, former Pennsylvania Congressman and author of the repeal to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. Ellen’s activist Mom Betty DeGeneres and Modern Family actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson were among the many who strolled that evening before the cameras.
The honorees and guests learned that night that they too were standing before history in the making when they heard about the encouragement and support given to Niko by the Principal Dr. Pam Magee and many of the teachers at Culver City High School. They were equally impressed by the respect given to the students whose voices had spoken with their vote.
Gratitude must be given to CCUSD Board Member Kathy Paspalis, who used her magic to allow this evening to unfold in a manner few who attended will ever forget, least of all Niko Walker and Carmen Jovel.