Drag queen crowned prom king at Indiana high school: 'I left everybody speechless'



Students at an Indiana high school prom were recently left too stunned to speak when Cristian Hernandez sashayed down the red carpet in a black sequined gown, blond wig and feather boa to collect his crown. The 18-year-old senior was elected prom king at Jeffersonville High School while dressed in full drag and barely missed a beat walking past his four suit-wearing competitors after he was announced the winner of the title. "Honestly, when I walked out there, I left everybody speechless," Hernandez, who is nonbinary and uses he and they pronouns, told NBC News.

Hernandez revealed that he wasn't counting on a victory before he heard his name being announced. "In my head I'm thinking, 'I'm not going to win.' I was just praying to the gay lords," he said with a laugh. When asked about what inspired his fabulous outfit for the event, Hernandez said: "I was just planning to do something really crazy for prom, and I thought, 'Why not go in drag?'" However, it took a lot of time and effort to don full drag and look as amazing as he did in that black gown.

Hernandez said that, including full hair and makeup, it took him five hours to prepare for the evening. However, he added, the extra effort wasn't all for the glamor. "I want to inspire people to try and break down those barriers that have been put up," he said. The teen has since managed to inspire and wow thousands more than his peers at Jeffersonville High School as a video capturing Hernandez's crowning moment and walk down the red carpet has gone viral on TikTok since he shared it earlier this month. "King... Queen... Whatever you wanna call it, I'm still that b**ch," he captioned the clip that's been viewed more than 162,000 times.

A number of TikTok users applauded Hernandez's runway prom strut. "I was a senior in 2013 and we had ONE out kid in school [of] over 2,000 kids. This warms my heart that you all get to be your most authentic selves," one person commented, while another user said: "I'm so happy for you!!! This is major!! I won prom king and was so close to going in drag, I'm so glad someone did it." "That hair is LAID, you look stunning. No wonder why you won," wrote someone else. Meanwhile, one user reflected on how much things have improved since their time in school. "I literally would have been murdered for this when I was in high school. How far we have come in just 11 years. Congrats," they commented.

However, Hernandez revealed that not everyone—including some of his classmates—was happy that he won the title. But he doesn't let them bring him down, choosing to simply shrug them off. "The boys at school, they always have a problem with something," he said. When asked if he had a message for other LGBTQ young people, Hernandez said: "Really be yourself, and confidence is key. You can't let people tear you down."

Hernandez is the latest in a growing list of LGBTQ high school students who have made headlines for breaking down barriers and defying traditional gender boundaries at prom. In November, a Missouri high school crowned its first male homecoming queen, and a few months before that, in September, a transgender teen was crowned her Florida school's first transgender homecoming queen.




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