High school isn’t a fun time for a lot of people. People are usually bullied for the things that make them different and those four years of learning can turn into four years of attempting to assimilate. For most high schoolers, it’s all about fitting in, but one Indiana high schooler named Alan Belmont decided to embrace his identity and stand out, crown on his head.
Belmont is a 17-year-old student at Indianapolis’ North Central High School. He recently made history as the school’s first-ever transgender prom king.
“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,” Belmont told the Indy Star.
His story wasn’t always so heartwarming. Belmont says he faced resistance and discrimination when he first had his eye on the crown.
Despite being the subject of transphobic bullying, involving slurs defaming his campaign posters, Belmont’s win came with a round of applause from his classmates. In the end, Belmont wrote on Instagram that he didn’t do it for the acclaim, but instead for others like him.
“I want my trans friends to know that this is nothing but stupidity and hate,” Belmont wrote. “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.”
In the end, he was right and his mission came true.
“Seeing that I actually made a difference in my community makes me really happy,” Belmont said.