A high school in Nova Scotia has acted quick to welcome and integrate a transgender football player who transferred from a nearby school.
As reported by ABC news and Canada’s CTV News, Halifax West High School’s newest wide receiver is Kennedy Cooley, a transfer from another Halifax school who felt his prior classmates weren’t accepting of his LGBTQ lifestyle. After joining Halifax West, Cooley told CTV his new school was warm and welcoming, a sentiment that extended to the football team.
“You feel like you’re a brother, you don’t feel like you’re a player,” the 17-year-old told CTV. “They’re just so open and they accept you for who you are.”
As one might expect, that’s a welcome approach for Cooley’s parents, who strive to support him when difficulties sometimes arise due to his gender identity. For his mother in particular, the Halifax West team has been a welcome respite.
“Everybody has been welcoming and just treats him like one of the other guys,” his mother, Pam Reinders-Cooley, told CTV.
“That’s what he wants to be — included — and he wants to be one of the other guys” she said. “I thank the team for everything that they’ve been doing and have done and continue to do. They seem to be a great group of kids.”