This teen has become the first transgender person to be crowned homecoming queen in the US state of Florida.
Seventeen-year-old Evan Bialosuknia, a student at Olympia High School in the city of Orlando, made history on Monday, 27th September, when she became the first ever transgender person to be appointed to the ceremonial role in Florida, with a population of over 21 million.
Homecoming queen is an American college and high-school tradition in which a student is chosen by her peers to preside over annual alumni celebrations.
In the wake of her crowning, Evan said: “It didn’t feel real. That’s the best way I can put it. It was so happy, but I was like, is this reality?”
She also said of her peers’ support: “It made me feel like I actually belonged. Not just like a joke. ‘Cause that was one of my fears. I was in bed one night like ‘what if they were just doing this to laugh at me?'”
Evan’s parents have also been delighted by the accolade, with her mum, Marnie Bialosuknia, saying: “To be so confident and so brave at 17 years old, it makes my husband and I really, really proud.
“The support, the positive comments… are far outweighing the negative and it’s just been a really wonderful experience.”
Evan has been on a rollercoaster of emotions this year, having only come out to her family as transgender in June.
Her parents already knew that she was gay as a boy, with Marnie saying: “I think that was… an easier transition for Evan to start by saying ‘I’m gay’ because then Evan could… be a little bit more feminine.
“We weren’t surprised when Evan told us because… Evan at the age of two and half told us ‘you know I wanna be a girl?'”
Evan herself said: “I played football for… six to eight years, and I remember during practices I would stare at the cheerleaders because I wanted to be with them.”
Marine said she and her husband support Evan’s transition and will be there for her throughout the long process.
Evan is one of the first transgender people to be crowned homecoming king or queen in the USA.
Trans boy Stiles Zuschlag was crowned homecoming king at his Maine high school in 2017, and trans girl Charlie Baum was crowned homecoming queen at her Georgia high school in 2019.
Evan says she hopes her accolade will inspire others.
She said: “You’re not weird or a loser ’cause that’s what a lot of kids feel. They feel like they’re not wanted and loved when you are. And you’re all beautiful.”