A walk in my shoes: Kate Lewandowski

Shealyn Mandle, Print Editor in Chief

As a fifth grader, senior Kate Lewandowski felt uncomfortable in her own skin. It wasn’t until she started cutting her hair short and dressing “like a boy” that she started to feel like herself. Dressing differently from other girls, she got made fun of endlessly for it. It never bothered her until she got into middle school and realized no one liked her, simply because she was different.

Lewandowski became depressed and dealt with self harm for a while. The first day she came to school with her hair cut, she was so excited until she heard kids laughing and talking behind her back. She begged her teacher to let her wear a hat all day because she was so embarrassed. When she got home, she was so put down that she started her period of self-harm. By eighth grade, she could not take the harassment anymore so she started dressing “girly” again so that people would like her. Unfortunately, it took Lewandowski being uncomfortable in order to be accepted by her middle school peers. She hated being someone else and it only made her more depressed.

Her freshman year, Lewandowski decided not to care what anyone else thought and she dressed the way she wanted to. She dressed like Kate Lewandowski. Something still did not feel quite right to her, though. She always had assumptions she was gay because of how she dressed, but she never really discovered her feelings until her first year in high school and she came to accept it. She started coming out to her friends and family and could not have been happier.

The first person she told was her best friend, senior A few days later she told her parents who were also very supportive.

Kate is now a senior who is openly gay, does not self harm and is happier than ever. She is involved in the marching band, the National Honor Society and is a member of the varsity volleyball, basketball and tennis teams. She is studying to be a medical student at the University of Miami where she has already completed six college credits. She will be graduating with over a 4.1 grade point average and a 30 on her ACT after taking 5 advanced classes. Lewandowski’s latest accomplishment: being the first girl at Fenton high school to win homecoming court and to wear a tuxedo while accepting the crown.