Danbury Students Crown First Male Prom Queen
Gay Danbury senior elected to prom royalty used the platform to speak out for another group.
Watch the crowd roar as Fleming accepts the honor.
Fleming’s fellow students voted for the 17-year-old senior to reign as both king and queen, though he was forced to choose between the two at Saturday night’s prom. He said he chose to be crowned Prom Queen to shed light on another ostracized group within the LGBT community: transgender teens.
While he was honored to have been nominated and win, Fleming said he felt as though the spotlight would be better used in support of a group that is still largely marginalized.
“Even though being gay is becoming more accepted, transgenders” — people who do not identify as the sex they were born — “are often seen as disgusting,” he said. “I’m tired of saying, ‘Let’s tolerate each other,’ because there’s always a little hate there. We need to start accepting each other.”
Fleming, who identifies as male and is not transgender himself, said he is “simply an ally” to those fighting against hate.
“If a person can win a title for a different gender, why can’t a transgender person win that title?” he asked.
Fleming was thankful for the support of his peers in Danbury and especially noted Prom King Rohit Das, who offered to share the king and queen dance with Fleming, per tradition.
Even though the two ended up dancing with their dates, the gesture was not lost on Fleming.
“To be able to say, ‘Even though I’m straight and like girls, I’m willing to dance with a gay guy at the prom’ is huge,” he said.
Within a day of posting the video above to YouTube, the clip has gotten thousands of hits and plenty of nasty comments but Fleming welcomes the conversation.
“I’m flattered,” he said of the negative attention. “I consider myself the king — or queen — of controversy. They can say what they want, so long as they’re watching.”
By putting himself out there, Fleming said he hopes to inspire more of his peers to stand up for acceptance.
“To all the youth in the world: if we’re not breaking boundaries, we’re not living life,” he said.