PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The story of a transgender boy who was rejected by Camden Catholic High School went viral this week after the family went public with their story. Since then, they have received an outpouring of support.
“The words of encouragement of support have been absolutely humbling,” says Frank Cantrambone, who is still in awe by the hundreds of signatures and scores of messages received from around the world. The outpouring of kindness came in response to an online petition started by students at Camden Catholic High School.
Earlier this summer, his 14-year-old child, who was born a girl, named Madelyn, came out as transgender and now goes by Mason.
“It’s the most nerve-wracking thing I’ve ever done,” says Mason Cantambone about coming out this past may. “But my parents, they were supportive.”
He used the summer to adjust, but when he disclosed his identity to Camden Catholic, where he had been accepted and given scholarships as “Madelyn,” they said no.
“They just rejected me and left me feeling just like nothing,” says Mason, who was not allowed to attend any of the meetings with school officials.
“They said they could not accommodate Mason and that it was against Catholic teaching,” says Frank. “It hurt because that school was everything to me and meant that Mason was going to have that experience.”
“It was strictly Mason’s lead that we followed,” says Annmarie Kita, Mason’s mother. She says they went public to raise awareness.
“A transgender individual would never choose something like this,” she says, “this is not a choice.”
Mason says he’s hoping his decision to shares his story changes lives.
“I want this situation to be the last transgender to ever get rejected from a Catholic School,” he says.
Mason says he’ll start high school online and attend an area public school next year.