Gutierrez, a transgender girl who recently turned 17, was thrust into the national spotlight in November when she got in a fight with three girls at Hercules High School. The fight was caught on video and uploaded to YouTube, and several news outlets covered the story. The Contra Costa County district attorney charged Gutierrez with misdemeanor battery, but none of the other girls involved in the fight were charged.
Since then, Gutierrez's fortunes have changed. After a successful social media campaign to raise awareness about her situation, charges against her were dropped. Then she learned that she had been voted the 2014 SF Pride community grand marshal. After winning 54 percent of the votes cast, Gutierrez will be honored on Sunday, when she'll ride through the parade in a convertible.
"It is so rare that someone is charged with a crime and subsequently something positive comes of it," said Gutierrez's lawyer, Kaylie Simon, in an email. "This is truly rare."
Gutierrez has never been to San Francisco's LGBT Pride Parade before. "I actually didn't even know about the grand marshal, and then I was shocked that I got more than 50 percent of the vote," she said. "That's crazy."
In fact, before the school fight and resulting media coverage, Gutierrez and her family didn't even know how to describe her gender identity. "It flashed on the news that I was transgender," she recalls. "Until then I didn't even know what I was."
At her home in Hercules this week, Gutierrez sat on the sofa wearing the violet dress she bought for the parade and recalled the events of the past year. Prior to the November fight, Gutierrez says she was subjected to regular bullying and sexual harassment by her peers. "What you see in the video is nothing compared to every single day," she said.