Keely Meadows speaking at the November 8 Roanoke County School Board meeting. Photo: Screenshot
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In the ongoing battle over anti-LGBTQ+ policies in one Virginia school district, a 15-year-old high school student has emerged as a leading organizer and tireless advocate for LGBTQ+ kids.
According to local paper Cardinal News, Keely Meadows has been speaking out against Roanoke County’s anti-trans policies at school board meetings and organizing demonstrations for over six months, even as the board’s conservative majority has ignored her.
“I’m one of those people they turn their heads at and don’t listen to,” said Meadows, who came out as trans in elementary school but later detransitioned. “And it’s sad because I’m a student.”
Meadows has not been intimidated. She has continued to attend monthly board meetings, where she often speaks in opposition to adults from local church groups. She has called out board members for ignoring her and looking at their phones during her comments, and she demanded an apology from chair Brent Hudson for “causing emotional distress” to the LGBTQ+ students. A local pastor and former school board member posted a photo of her family on social media and later sued her mother and a Roanoke City Council member for defamation after getting into an argument with Meadows during which she claims he touched her.