When 17-year-old Alan Belmont heard his name called as his school’s prom king, “it was honestly one of the most heartwarming feelings that I’ve ever felt,” he explained to the Indianapolis Star.
Belmont, a junior at North Central High School in Indianapolis, is his school’s first ever openly trans prom king—a position he ran for in order to help inspire younger members of the LGBTQ community.
“I wanted young kids at my school, who are trans or maybe gay or just coming into their identity, to know that being LGBT doesn’t have to be a cripple,” Belmont told local station WISH8. “Being LGBT is something that you should be proud of and you should represent.”
“They announced my name, and the crowd cheered so loud and it warmed my heart so much,” he recalled to WTHR. “The whole night was full of people cheering me on so seeing that they voted for something so big was incredible.”
Belmont’s road to high school royalty wasn’t always easy. As he documented on his Twitter account, one of the flyers he’d posted in school urging people to vote for him was anonymously defaced, with the word “king” crossed out and replaced with “queen.”
Nevertheless, Belmont—who came out as transgender last year, but has reportedly not taken any hormones or undergone any surgery as part of his transition—is proud of his decision to run.
“There needs to be a first so other people know that it’s okay to run and that they’ll be safe and that they’ll be celebrated,” he told WISH8.
Belmont’s victory comes just under six years after Andii Viveros became the first-ever transgender prom queen elected in a U.S. public school.