Students at a Charlotte, North Carolina high school have crowned the school’s first-ever transgender homecoming king. Charlotte’s WCNC reported that 17-year-old Blake Brockington took the honor on Friday night and was crowned in East Mecklenburg High School’s gymnasium as fellow students cheered.
Brockington said that his journey has not always been easy. He hopes this accolade will inspire other trans youth.
“Throughout my life I haven’t always been treated equally as a male, so I’ve always wanted this and everybody has told me I couldn’t do it. ‘You are a girl,’ even though I’ve always identified myself as a male,” said Brockington to WCNC.
Brockington lives with a foster family because members of his family of origin are unable to accept his gender identity. He competed against 13 other senior boys at the school for the title of homecoming king.
Each year, students are nominated by their peers to run for the honor, each vying to raise the most money for the school’s chosen charity. East Mecklenburg High School’s charity for 2014 was Mothering Across Continents, an international nonprofit dedicated to providing educational opportunities for youth in Sudan.
Donald Smith, Brockington’s foster father, told WCNC that his son hopes to inspire other trans youth to be true to themselves.
“He really is hoping that it helps those behind him going through the same challenges and struggles,” said Smith.
Watch video about this story, embedded below: