"Of course I followed Cassidy's story," Nayfack says. "I was proud of her, worried for her and maybe even a little envious. When people would ask me if I had heard of her, I would joke, 'Yeah, I'm still waiting for my thank-you card.' I know that sounds bitter—I'm not bitter—but I do wish queer youth were being taught their history. There's a different kind of empowerment that comes from knowing whose shoulders you stand on.

"It was beautiful to see how her classmates rallied around her, but I watched Cassidy's YouTube video from after prom night, and she was in tears, breaking down. That's the pressure of being thrust into the spotlight just for being true to your radiant self. Cassidy, if you read this: Forget the haters, love yourself, and no one can take that away from you!"

OC LGBT pioneer: Our loss, NYC's gain
Studio photos by Nicki Ishmael, nickiishmael.com
OC LGBT pioneer: Our loss, NYC's gain

You can donate to Shakina Nayfack's transition at YouCaring.com/KickStartHer.

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sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

I like that he is willing to do this to raise the funds

thats the way it should be done


Soo tired of the gender conflicted airing their pathology.  


Best of luck, Shakina! Never, ever apologize for being true to yourself! Stay strong!

"Illegitimi non carborundum!"


Whatever education Shakina Nayfack received up to his high school years, the lesson that clearly didn't take was the one about common sense. One does not have to possess a doctorate in Critical Dance Studies, nor even have done particularly well in middle school, to realize that a guy with "a 6-foot-2 frame" who elects to wear "nail polish, makeup and spiked heels to school," is going to receive all manner of abuse on a campus filled with kids in their mid teens. And this reality is hardly limited to the boundaries of Orange County or even the United States.

Shakina's mother, and the other influential adults in his life, did this unfortunate chap no favors by failing to sit him down as a teenager and explaining that there may be a time and place for drag queen get ups, but 10th Grade Consumer Math and P.E. classes aren't it.

I'm happy to read that Shakina's life seems to have taken a turn for the better as a performance artist in Manhattan, and perhaps obtaining the surgery he seeks will help him find some peace. However, I am equally disturbed when, of all people, public school employees are the only parties leveling with this kid by advising him that he was largely bringing the trouble he endured upon himself. A little truth will benefit an adolescent far more than the most generous helpings of politically correct nonsense.