It’s prom season, America, and you know what that means: A solid stream of prom follies from this year’s crop of high schoolers playing dress-up and grinding to Bruno Mars songs.
For example, students at the Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts, a public charter school, have elected a transgender student prom queen.
The prom was last week and the happy winner, 18-year-old Maka Brown, is believed to be the first male prom queen from the generally conservative state of Utah, reports local CBS affiliate KUTV.
“It was like, I can’t believe this is happening to me right now,” Brown told KUTV. “It was just really validating for me.”
Brown, an impressive juggler and a trapeze artist, also discussed his personal transgender odyssey.
“I didn’t realize I was trans until I was 16, about two years ago,” he told the CBS affiliate.
Then, the reality of puberty began to take its toll.
“I was turning into a guy and I didn’t like it,” Brown said. “All these awful changes were happening that I didn’t identify with or didn’t want to happen to me. It just felt so foreign.”
Brown’s mother told the station she was happy for her son when he became prom queen.
“I was really proud of this school that they were able to see Maka for who she is,” she beamed.
A smattering of male prom queens has become something of an annual staple at American high schools in recent years.
Last year at Danbury High School in the endless suburbs of Connecticut, a gay high school senior, Nasir Fleming, was chosen as prom king as well as prom queen. School officials would not allow Fleming to accept both honors, though. Thus, he accepted a tiara while graciously forgoing any crown. (RELATED: Gay Male High School Student Efficiently Chosen As Prom King AND Queen)
In 2013, a student at Middleborough High School in Massachusetts became the very first transgender prom queen in the history of Middleborough, Mass. (pop. 23,000 or so), the cranberry capital of the world. (RELATED: Mass. High School Crowns Its Very First Transgender Prom Queen)