A Tennessee high school student led the homecoming court, resplendent in a gold gown and heels, after students decided to do away with gender-specific titles.
Brandon Allen was crowned Friday night on the football field of White Station High School, where he was named "Homecoming Royalty" instead of king or queen.
He wouldn't have minded the latter title, he said.
"I always felt like I was a queen," he said. "I always felt like I am that business. I am that news. I am me."
The school vetoed the honorifics of king and queen so that any student could win the homecoming court crown. "I was mad that there could only be one winner, and I was also sad at the fact that everyone who tried their best didn't win," Allen said.
Photos of him and his glittering dress went viral on social media, with the majority of comments being supportive and congratulating him on his victory.
School officials also weighted in. "Here's the thing: it's Brandon's right to run for homecoming royalty under Title IX. It's the students' choice of who they want to support as homecoming royalty. I'm exceedingly proud to be the principal of our amazing school," wrote Carrye Holland. The campus "supports everyone regardless of who they are or what they believe. Thank you for the love and light from so many of you," she added.
Allen said he has always done what made him happy in life.
"Don't try to hide yourself all because some people might not accept you," he advised fellow teens. "Trust and believe me, there are going to be people who don't accept you, and you've got to be like, 'I don't care. I'm going to do me. I'm going to be myself, truly and unapologetically.'"