A high school in Indiana has just crowned its first transgender prom king in its 61-year history.
Students at North Central High School in Indianapolis helped Alan Belmont, a 17-year-old junior, make school history as they voted him prom king on Saturday.
"It was honestly one of the most heartwarming feelings that I've ever felt," Belmont told IndyStar. "Just to feel an audience of my peers and an audience of believers in progression, to hear that my peers were on the same page that I was was incredible and to know that there were juniors I hadn't met yet who voted for me was incredible."
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Though Belmont's win was met with applause, his quest for the royal court drew some backlash leading up to the big night.
When Belmont posted prom king campaign posters around the school, he found at least one with "king" crossed out and replaced with "queen".
He addressed the sign on Instagram.
"I've gotten a lot of questions as to why I am running for prom king," Belmont captioned the photo of the incident. "But this is the real reason. Despite all the love and support I've received, there's still so much ignorance in the world. I want my trans friends to know that this is nothing but stupidity and hate. This doesn't stop me from being me, and I will continue to fight to win this. Ignorance will fall, pride and love will rise."
A post shared by Alan Belmont (@alancbelmont) on Apr 22, 2017 at 8:50pm PDT
Prior to the dance, the photo and message amassed over 300 likes -- which Belmont says made him feel good, but he wanted to remain realistic about the possible outcome of defeat.
And as it turns out he had no reason to be nervous at all.
— Naomi Ruchim (@NaomiRuchim) April 24, 2017
"When they announced my name and I heard the crowd cheer, it was the most warm-hearted I've ever felt," he said. "Hearing that all these people supported me and my message and that other people were standing up for it, too, meant the world for me. Seeing that I actually made a difference in my community makes me really happy."