Wisconsin teenager Nikko Nelson got a wonderful surprise this week. Her fellow students voted her the school’s prom queen. That’s not newsworthy in itself; thousands of young women are crowned across the country. However, Nelson is her school’s first transgender prom queen — and what’s more, there wasn’t any controversy around her crowning.
On April 28, Nikko Nelson was elected prom queen of Homestead High School. Nelson said it was a dream come true for her, and she didn’t even believe it was true at first. She said, “My friend was in the hallway and she came up to me and she said ‘They said you won prom queen,’ and I was like are you being serious?”
Nikko Nelson lives in the small town of Mequon, Wisconsin. Mequon has just under 25,000 residents. Nelson’s high school, Homestead High, has 1,324 students. Nelson first came out as trans in eighth grade, wearing her first dress for her middle school graduation. She said that at first, “I didn’t realize that I wanted to be a girl. I just noticed that I had mostly girl friends and I participated in most of the ‘girl’ activities.”
Despite a few transphobic jokes when her best friend urged students to vote for her via a social media post, there was very little controversy over Nelson’s crowning. Though Nelson’s quick to point out she didn’t win just because she’s trans — nor that she sees herself as any sort of pioneer. She said, “I just like to think of myself as a normal person, but at the same time I realize that I do have a different quirk to me. I didn’t win prom queen for being a transgender girl; I won prom queen for being Nikko Nelson.”
Congrats, Ms. Nelson!