A gay South Carolina teenager was voted prom king by his peers, and marked the event by wearing a beautiful dress. And everyone loved him for it, except outraged parents who created a local controversy in the Greenville area.
As Yahoo News reports, Adam Bell is openly gay, and often wears makeup and/or women’s clothes to school (although he identifies as male). And although bullying of LGBTQ youth is a serious and widespread problem, Adam has been lucky in that he’s always had the support of his peers at Powdersville High School, as well as school teachers and administrators.
In fact, so supportive of Adam are his classmates that he was voted Prom King with nearly 50 percent of the vote. And he picked out the perfect outfit for himself, he tells WCNC-TV.
“I picked a top from Victoria’s Secret, and the skirt, it had finished getting altered on that Wednesday so it was very last minute that outfit.”
Needless to say, his outfit was well-received at prom. After all, Adam says, his classmates and teachers are used to seeing him in makeup and women’s clothes. Some teachers even posed with him for pictures. Absolutely no one had any problem with his fashion choices, at all.
Adam Bell received 49 percent of his classmates’ votes for Powdersville Prom King. https://t.co/eQuznwd3Yw
— Amy Wood 7 News (@TVAmy) April 26, 2018
That is to say, no one who was at the prom that night had any problem with Adam’s outfit. But once pictures of Adam at the prom started making local news, it was the parents and other adults who started expressing their issues with Adam’s choices. On social media, such as Powdersville High School’s Facebook Page, and the social media pages of local news affiliates, many adults were less than sympathetic.
“This young man/ woman/it should be ashamed of this ludicrous behavior. A gay/transgender prom king? What are we telling our kids?”
Powdersville High School has since deleted the picture, and thus the thread with the negative comments. But The New Zealand Herald was able to record a few.
“Call me names or whatever but I think this is ridiculous! The “king” is a male and should be dressing like one. The only reason kids act like this is because we allow it and think it’s ok. In my opinion it’s not!”
“This is gross! there is a prom (king) and Queen. Now two Queens!”
To be fair, other users came to his defense.
“The prom king rocked that s***, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with looking that glamorous!”
“Good for this kid and kudos to Powdersville High School for showing some 21st Century class and acceptance!”
Adam, for his part, says that he got about seven positive comments to every negative one. He says he responded to the positive comments, and ignored the negative ones.
The senior, who plans to go into the beauty and makeup field for his career, also plans to wear a dress when he graduates on May 24.