Zachary Willmore was crowned this year's homecoming queen at Rock Bridge High School in Columbia, Missouri — the first male to win the title at the school, KOMU-TV reported.
What are the details?
“It was literally like a dream,” Wilmore — a senior and varsity cheerleader — told the station. “It was just really special to me.”
Willmore told KOMU he posted an Instagram poll asking his followers if he should be king or queen: “They thought queen could look prettier on the sash. So I chose queen.”
Here's a clip showing the moment Willmore — decked out in a sparkling gold dress — got the news:
Reply to @poopacus thank you guys so much for all the support I’ve received I can’t explain how happy I am tonight💕 #fyp #queen #homecoming #gay #viral #lgbt
Moments later he celebrated his win with what appear to be supportive competitors for the queen crown.
“We look gorgeous,” Willmore said in the video selfie. “Have a wonderful day, cuties.”
He told KOMU that fellow students didn't make things difficult for him, noting that his win “showed that people actually did care about me. It was the final stepping stone for me to be like, ‘People like me.' I feel happy.”
A giant TikTok following
While Willmore made some headlines for his homecoming queen win, the station noted that he's also a big-time TikTok user with over a million followers. KOMU said Willmore has posted videos of outfits he's worn at school that have led to dress code violations.
“Teachers were allowed to make the call of what was appropriate,” Willmore told the station. “Many times I did feel like they could target students, and I did feel targeted in some scenarios.”
He added to KOMU that some hate followed after his homecoming queen victory: “After I won, my TikTok account was reported and banned for a couple days.”
But Willmore got a lot of love as well, noting a moment when he saw his grandparents among the homecoming game attendees.
“My grandparents were there that day, and I hadn't really formally come out to them. I was really nervous about that,” Willmore recalled to the station. “I saw them in the crowd, and they were crying which made me really happy when they called my name. It made the win a lot sweeter.”
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