Ve’ondre Mitchell was elected homecoming queen at Glacier Peak High School on Monday in Snohomish. Mitchell is the school’s first Black, trans homecoming queen. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Ve’ondre Mitchell was elected homecoming queen at Glacier Peak High School on Monday in Snohomish. Mitchell is the school’s first Black, trans homecoming queen. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

At Glacier Peak High, homecoming queen breaks down barriers

“I didn’t know I had this much support from my peers,” said Ve’ondre Mitchell, who is Black and openly transgender.

SNOHOMISH — As a fourth-grader, Ve’ondre Mitchell came out as transgender at Seattle Hill Elementary.

This year, she was voted Glacier Peak High School’s first Black openly trans homecoming queen.

Mitchell, a senior known to most as “Ve,” has reached millions as a viral TikTok star, where she records snippets of her life and doesn’t back down from the haters.

“She gets recognized everywhere,” said Sarah Mitchell, Ve’s mother.

Yet being crowned queen was unexpected.

“I didn’t know I had this much support from my peers,” she said. “And it honestly just felt so validating, liberating — all the good things.”

Ve Mitchell is paving the way for other girls like her to get the accolades they deserve, said Chinoso Okoroafor, a friend and a Glacier Peak senior.

Ve’s crowning was “not just a win for Black girls. It’s a win for the LGBTQ+ community,” said Okoroafor, who was also nominated for homecoming court. “She’s winning for a small group of people, and representing that group of people is really important. I’m really proud of her.”

When some students made transphobic comments at school and on social media, Superintendent Kent Kultgen was quick to respond.

“We do not approve of nor do we accept these actions and are committed to ensuring a welcoming and inclusive environment for all,” he wrote in a statement.

But “there needs to be more education” to address the hate, said Macy Branshaw, a Glacier Peak senior who is also Ve’s friend.

“Ve living her life is not something you can just have an opinion on,” Branshaw. said.

A group of students declared the week after homecoming Transgender Pride Week in honor of Ve and passed out trans pride flags in the school’s commons.

“I’m really happy that I could be somebody to pave the way for future students to not have to go through any of that,” Ve said, “but also just to be celebrated.”

Branshaw has known Ve since first grade and said she watched her grow into a confident leader.

“A lot of people in the LGBTQ+ community have become more comfortable at our school” because of Ve’s work and social media presence, Branshaw said.

In 2016, Ve took part in conversations that led to the creation of Snohomish School District’s gender diversity policy.

Ve and Okoroafor serve as vice president and president, respectively, of Glacier Peak’s Black Student Union. Ve joined BSU as a sophomore. Back then, the group was so small they sometimes cancelled meetings. But now, around 50 people show up every week, including white students who want to learn, Branshaw said.

Okoroafor said Ve will leave a legacy at Glacier Peak.

“I want people to know that she’s making change and she is doing what she is with confidence,” Okoroafor said.

After she graduates, Ve wants to continue serving as a positive light and leader. She said Snohomish has taught her to have “thicker skin,” and to be brave.

“I really had to learn how to embrace myself before I was embraced by anyone else,” she said. “A lot of the times growing up, the kids weren’t always the greatest, but they grew to understand me. And that helped me also understand myself. So moments like this are like a celebration of myself.”

Herald reporter Ellen Dennis contributed to this article.

Isabella Breda: 425-339-3192; Twitter: @BredaIsabella.

Talk to us

More in Local News

A car breaks and waits for traffic to pass before turning onto 123rd Avenue on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021 in Lake Stevens, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Can roundabouts, lower speed limit make 84th Street NE safer?

Maybe, but transportation and disability advocates want design features to make crossing safe.

Two brother bear cubs, burned in a fire last summer, were recently reunited at PAWS in Lynnwood. (PAWS) 20211129
Bear cubs, burned in wildfires, reunited in viral video in Lynnwood

The brother cubs are being treated at PAWS Wildlife Center. They were injured in a wildfire near Lake Chelan.

Madison is one of three aging elementary schools that would be torn down and replaced if the Everett schools bond is passed next year. (Sue Misao / Herald file)
Everett school leaders have 2 big levies on February ballot

The district is asking voters to renew a levy for programs and operations, and to pass a $325 million capital and tech levy.

Everett officials have questions about a 125-room hotel shelter

City Council members say they weren’t aware of the county’s proposal until it made headlines.

A fatal crash prompted closure of West Mukilteo Boulevard between Forest Park and Dogwood Drive Friday afternoon. (Everett Police Department) 20211126
2 identified in deadly T-bone crash in Everett

Otila Retel Azanedo de Jones, 67, and William Jones, 85, died at the scene.

Reagan Dunn to take on U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier in 8th District

The Republican is challenging incumbent Democrat Kim Schrier in a district which could include a slice of Snohomish County.

A man died after he was found with gunshot wounds Saturday in downtown Everett. (Caleb Hutton / The Herald)
Man dead after shooting in downtown Everett

The man, believed to be in his 40s, was found near California Street and Rockefeller Avenue.

Rear Adm. Christopher Sweeney, commander of Puget Sound-based Carrier Strike Group 11, in Bremerton on Nov. 23, 2021. (U.S. Navy/MC3 Justin McTaggart)
From Everett, this rear admiral commands a Navy strike group

Christopher Sweeney leads Carrier Strike Group 11, a force of aircraft and ships stretching from here to San Diego.

A rainbow appears in front of Andy Huestis and his girlfriend Alisha Garvin as they and other families gather to remember the victims on the third anniversary of the Oso mudslide on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 in Oso, Wa. Huestis' sister, Christina Jefferds, and her baby granddaughter, Sanoah Violet Huestis, were among the 43 people killed in the mudslide.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Funding secured: Mudslide memorial will be a place to remember

Since 2014, families have mourned at a roadside shrine near Oso, but “we knew we needed something bigger.”

Most Read