Meet Johnson C. Smith University’s First Transgender Royal Court Member
Written By: Intern Jasmine Woosley
Did you know Johnson C. Smith University is home to the country’s first transgendered HBCU queen? Meet Malay P. Simmons, the first trans queen to represent an HBCU. This year Malay will be competing in the “EGE” Modeling Competition at 2 pm on November 12 at LABCITY Event Center for the grand prize of $1,000 and the title of “The 2023 Fierce Legend of the Runway.” Representing Johnson C. Smith University, Malay is nervous, but excited as she is preparing for the competition.
When asked what made her run for the royal court, Simmons recalls her freshman year at JCSU being a
time when there weren’t many students who had the same level of school pride as her. Being the change she wanted to see in the world, she joined the royal court as Mister Freshman and continued to reign until her transition from Mister Junior to Miss Junior a few years back.
“A lot of people didn’t like it. Honestly, I never cared about people’s opinions because I knew who I was doing it for,” says Simmons. “It was for me and other trans women who were going to be creating change.” Malay’s goal with this competition is to help bridge the gap between the Charlotte community and the JCSU campus and to embody JCSU’s motto “Sit-Lux” which means “Let there be light.” While she has received a certain level of pushback from those in the community, the support from her school has given her the courage and faith to continue to be a beacon of change for others like her.
To support Malay and the “EGE” modeling competition, you can follow the Instagram page @PIAMproductions for more information. Tickets are currently $30. Students can receive a discount with the “EGE” discount code.
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