Mariemont Student Cass Steiner Celebrated for Bravery

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Written by Brianna Connock, Marketing & Outreach Associate

As a sophomore at Mariemont High School, Cass Steiner was ecstatic to learn that she had been voted Homecoming Princess. However, she later found out from a school counselor that students had voted for her as a prank due to her gender identity.

Steiner courageously turned the tables by accepting the nomination and marching in their homecoming parade with a large group of students and administrators joining her in support.

The Frank Bergstein Award for Bravery was awarded to Steiner at the 2023 Upstander Awards in recognition of her courage.  The Upstander Awards honored and celebrated individuals in the community doing inspiring work as upstanders. Read more about the Cohen Family Upstander Weekend.

Steiner is motivated by making changes for the better. As an advocate for transgender rights, she works with Equality Ohio, GLSEN and multiple LGBTQ+ affirming groups.

“I want to live freely without being judged, bullied or prosecuted simply because I’m different,” Steiner said. “I’m not searching for equality, but rather equity for what we all deserve: basic human rights.”

Healthcare especially is a topic that Steiner fiercely advocates for. She’s spoken with state legislators about the importance of gender-affirming healthcare as part of her work.

Steiner encourages people to be present and not be paralyzed by other’s judgments. “To people who fear what others may think of you, take time to make your decisions,” Steiner said. “It’s important because your life is not anyone else’s but your own.”

 Read the full press release about the 2023 Upstander Awards here.

The Cohen Family Cincinnati Upstander Weekend is presented by Duke Energy, Fifth Third Private Bank, the Mayerson Family Foundation, WCPO, and Procter & Gamble. 

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The Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center exists to ensure the lessons of the Holocaust inspire action today. Located at Cincinnati’s historic Union Terminal, HHC impacts more than 2.5 million people every year through digital and in-person events, museum tours, educational experiences, social media, and virtual content. From Australia to India, individuals from more than 25 countries and 30 states engage with our mission. For more information, visit