Cristian Hernandez, an 18-year-old nonbinary Jeffersonville High School student in Indiana, beat out their four competitors to earn the prom king crown -- and they did it in a sequin gown, feather boa, and heels.
Recalling the night, Hernandez (who uses they/he pronouns) told NBC News, "When I walked out there, I left everybody speechless."
No one was more surprised by the win than Hernandez themself when they heard their name called. "In my head, I'm thinking, I'm not going to win. I was just praying to the gay lords," they said.
Hernandez shared that they knew they wanted to wear something a little different than their tuxedoed competitors. "I was just planning to do something really crazy for prom, and I thought, Why not go in drag?" they recalled. "I want to inspire people to try and break down those barriers that have been put up."
The moment they were crowned and then strutted down the red carpet was captured on video, and Hernandez shared the footage on TikTok with the caption "king ... queen ... whatever you wanna call it im still that b****." The video quickly went viral and has racked up more than 50,000 likes.
People in the comments section congratulated Hernandez for their big moment. "I literally would have been murdered for this when I was in high school how far we have come in just 11 years. CONGRATS," wrote one user. "I'm so happy for youuuu!!! This is major!! I won prom king and was so close to going in drag, I'm so glad someone did it," wrote another.
While there were also comments condemning their win, Hernandezs gave some advice for other young LGBTQ+ people: "Really be yourself, and confidence is key. You can't let people tear you down."