Karine Jean-Pierre
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Wisconsin Trans Student Named Prom Queen for Being Unapologetically Herself

Nikko Nelson

Students at Homestead High School in Mequon, Wis., elected Nikko Nelson, a transgender student, as their prom queen late last month, and she said she won not because she's trans but because she is unapologetically herself. 

A junior with an interest in fashion, the teen, in an interview with the local ABC affiliate, emphasized the important things — her desire to match her shoes to her prom dress in a way that would “pop” and the fact that she doesn’t want to be treated as other. 

“I just like to think of myself as a normal person, but at the same time, I do realize that I do have a different quirk to me,” Nelson told WISN. “I didn’t win prom queen for being a transgender girl. I won prom queen for Nikko Nelson.” 

Nelson’s title came with little controversy from most students at her school. The win was such a non-event as far as pushback that it was a surprise to her when a friend delivered the news.

“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?” she said.

India Wilkerson, Nelson's best friend since before she began to transition,  said the teen won prom queen because she's widely beloved at school. 

"People love Nikko, love her," Wilkerson said. "I’m glad people can see her the way I see her, as just a normal friend."

Despite Nelson garnering support from the majority of students at Homestead, there were a few outliers. When Wilkerson posted on Instagram about the win, a few boys at school made transphobic comments asking, “Do you mean king? [rather than queen]?” 

Still, Nelson, who began to come out publicly as trans in junior high school, has had the full backing of her parents and friends. 

"This was before Caitlyn Jenner. This was before everything was in the news, and Nikko kind of educated us about it," Nelson’s mother, Eileen Nelson, said about her child’s coming-out. "As much as Nikko is a transgender girl, she is our daughter."

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