Missouri High School crowns its first male homecoming queen (Update)

A high school in Missouri went viral two years after a male student, Zachary Willmore, became a Homecoming Queen.

Zachary Willmore made history

The first boy to be crowned a Homecoming Queen in Rock Bridge High School, Colombia, Missouri, said after his victory, “It was literally like a dream. It was just really special to me.” The boy won the crown in 2021, but the viral clip of him celebrating with his best friends keeps resurfacing.

Wilmore, also a cheerleader on Rock Bridge’s varsity team, wore a gold dress with sequins, and his outfits were the reasons he became a TikTok sensation. “Teachers were allowed to make the call of what was appropriate,” the Homecoming Queen said in one of his videos. He also challenged dress code norms over the years, and the social media poll helped him decide if he should run for queen or king of the Homecoming.

The making of the first male Queen

“I took a really quick Instagram poll” in which he asked if he should run for Homecoming King or Queen,” Willmore told KOMU, adding, “They thought the queen would look prettier on the sash,” he continued. “I was like, ‘You’re so correct.’ So I chose queen.” In the video, the teens are laughing, with Willmore telling his TikTok fans, “We’re having a blast.”

@zachwillmore Found my date #fyp #gay #homecoming ♬ original sound – ★ Star Boy ★

The updated dress code

Zachary shared he’s part of the students taking active steps to correct some of the dress code rules to reflect contemporary fashion better, “They put me in charge of creating the new dress code,” he said. “I got to make a rough draft which got sent to the student council and the principal.”

Baumstark commented, “The group of students has been assembled to work on the dress code revisions with administration,” adding, “They are still at the beginning stages, but Rock Bridge hopes to have a revised dress code by the end of the school year and before Zachary graduates.”

Coming out to his grandparents

Talking about becoming the homecoming queen, Wilmore recalled, “My grandparents were there that day, and I hadn’t really formally come out to them. I was really nervous about that. 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. It showed that people actually did care about me. It was the final stepping stone for me to be like ‘people like me.’ I feel happy.”

HIV diagnosis

Wilmore continued his studies at San Diego State University. In 2023, he posted a heartbreaking video, “It’s Friday, Feb. 17. I’m 19 years old. And yesterday, I found out that I got diagnosed with HIV.” While he said he felt drained at the time, he told NBC, “It’s just so stigmatized when people hear that they have HIV, and it’s forever.” He added, “I will be OK, but I’m still a work in progress.”

@zachwillmore Day 1 of my video diary #hiv #gay #viral #diary ♬ original sound – ★ Star Boy ★

Commentators were mostly positive

Someone wrote, “Well done you!!! QUEEN!!!” Another agreed, “Omg, you look so pretty congrats!” One added, “Were those girls in sashes your competition?! They didn’t look like they were done up as beautifully as you were.” One person wondered, “Legit question; so is there also going to be a King? And how would that all work with the dance and whatnot? Not all dudes would be comfortable.”

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