A student at a Missouri high school is the first male in the school's history to be crowned Homecoming Queen.
Zachary Willmore, a senior and varsity cheerleader at Rock Bridge High School, took home the honor last weekend.
“It was literally like a dream” Willmore told local TV station KOMU. “It was just really special to me.”
He added: “It was the final stepping stone for me to be like 'people like me.' I feel happy.”
Willmore said he initially used a social media poll to decide to run for king or queen. “They thought queen would look prettier on the sash,” he said. “I was like, 'You're so correct.' So I chose queen.”
Willmore, who boasts more than one million followers, posted on TikTok before he was crowned.
“We’re having a blast…it’s scary as hell,” Willmore said.
He also posted a video of him being announced as Homecoming Queen and celebrating with the cheerleading team.
After posting the clips on the app, Willmore said his account was reported and banned for a couple of days.
The win was also special for another reason for Willmore.
“My grandparents were there that day, and I hadn't really formally come out to them. I was really nervous about that,” Willmore said. “I saw them in the crowd, and they were crying which made me really happy when they called my name. It made the win a lot sweeter.”
Willmore’s homecoming win also has the backing from his school district.
“Zachary Willmore is a wonderful student,” Columbia Public Schools spokesperson Michelle Baumstark told the station. “He’s engaged in school, active in activities, including cheer, and is not afraid to ask questions and identify challenges he sees around him.”
Willmore is also breaking barriers in other ways as well. He’s been working to overhaul his school’s dress code as he often felt targeted.
“Teachers were allowed to make the call of what was appropriate,” he said. “Many times I did feel like they could target students, and I did feel targeted in some scenarios.”
Baumstark confirmed his involvement. She told KOMU, “He has challenged the dress code over his time at Rock Bridge and is working with the school to develop a more up-to-date dress code for the school.”