Newton native Ava Glasscott is a model, actress, makeup artist, cosplay icon and pageant participant. But her greatest accomplishment is being a normal girl. After struggling for years with bullying about her transgender status, Glasscott is finally living her best, most beautiful life.
On June 8, Glasscott will play the role of Boston Pride Parade Marshal, spreading joy and talking about her experiences. She’s the first transgender person to hold the post. The parade, which is a centerpiece for the city’s annual, week-ish-long LGBTQ festival, starts in Copley Square at noon and makes its way across town to City Hall Plaza.
“I’m so very happy that I’m the first transgender pride marshal,” she says. “My community has come so far, and I’m really honored, because back when I was a kid I did not have anyone to look up to as a role model.”
Glasscott hopes to be that role model for young people in transition. Her biggest advice to other people dealing with LGBTQ challenges is to find a tribe of like-minded friends who care about you.
“You are not alone,” she says. “People are here that care about you. I care about you. You’re loved.”
In 2018, the brunette stunner represented the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the Miss Trans USA pageant and snagged the second-runner-up position. She was the first post-op trans person to represent New England in a pageant. She plans to compete again and win the crown for her home state.
You can also catch Glasscott in Amy Schumer’s 2018 film “I Feel Pretty,” which was filmed here in Boston, in the 2016 documentary “All Stars: The Changing Face of Drag,” and in news outlets around the country.
As a child, she attended the Pride Parade with her mother and reveled in the flag-raising and the citywide celebration. Now, Glasscott is most looking forward to connecting with people one-on-one.
“I’m looking to get out and talk to the community. I’m really excited for people to see a trans person that is successful, that is happy, that is just living their life authentically,” she says.
Glasscott is open about the challenges she’s faced, but she encourages people to focus on who trans people are now, rather than who they used to be. The trans narrative isn’t a sob story; it’s one of immense strength and resilience, and Glasscott is living proof of that.
There’s still work to be done. Glasscott says trans issues are taking center stage in our current moment.
“I think people are much more aware of LGBTQ issues,” she says. “Ten years ago, being gay, people were still fighting for equal rights. We’re at that point with trans people. We’re still fighting to be fully accepted.”
Glasscott is ready to fight that fight. And she’s going into battle with a flawless face and a pageant crown.