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UNF Spinnaker

The man in female feathers

Trey Henderson, the man behind UNF’s Harriet the Osprey, said he feels normal when he’s in costume. The 21-year-old student was also the Panther mascot named homecoming king at Ridgeview High School in Orange Park, the Easter Bunny and Santa’s helper at the Avenues Mall.

Henderson spoke with the Spinnaker about his role as Harriet and what he hopes to accomplish here at UNF.

Why did you decide to become a mascot?

“I wanted to be a mascot because I was born with Down syndrome, and no one would look at me funny if I had a costume on.”

What do you like about being the mascot at UNF?

“I like being the mascot because I can hide in the costume. People won’t look at me because I’m different. And being the mascot at UNF is kind of fun. You get to see a lot of games, and I get the crowd pumped up.”

What is the difference between serving as a college mascot versus being a mascot in high school?

“In college, they asked me to audition. And when they told me I made it, I was surprised.”

How has playing Harriet the Osprey been meaningful to you?

“I have to get into character because I found out I was going to be a girl mascot instead of a boy. It doesn’t bother me, but my dream is to be Ozzie. I want to be Ozzie because he is a lady killer.”

Compiled by Heather Furey.

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