Melendez came out as openly gay as a freshman. She was relentlessly bullied. Friends abandoned her. Classroom would go silent when she walked in. Students made hand gestures at her and took her picture. She even had water thrown on her. She never dreamed a day like this could come.
A few weeks ago during an honors physiology class both girls take, they were stunned to learn they had been nominated as a couple – the first in their school’s history. That shock was multiplied exponentially when they won.
Though the years following her coming out were tough, Melendez says things have changed. While she still experiences some bullying, it has dropped off greatly and she longer lets it bother her. She uses it to drive her ambition to help other who have not yet found self-acceptance and peace.
Two weeks prior to homecoming, the school conducted classroom conversations about harassment. The small-group discussions were shown a video featuring Melendez discussing her own experiences
Of the victory, the teen who is president of her school’s Gay and Straight Alliance Club and vice president of the peer support group, says it was the most amazing moment of their lives. She was stunned to see the crowd stand up and cheer for them.
Her father, John Melendez views the victory as something other kids can look to and see as inspiration to feel more accepted, too. Greta says seeing the attitudes of the people at her school do a complete reversal was the most remarkable thing she has ever witnessed.