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‘I’m trying to push doors open’: Drag queen crowned prom king at Jeffersonville High

An Indiana high school student dressed in drag was crowned king at his prom. (Source: WAVE)
Published: May. 17, 2022 at 12:06 AM EDT
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JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WAVE) - A Jeffersonville teenager is going viral for serving “sequined realness” as he was crowned king at his prom.

“Your 2022 prom king is… Cristian Hernandez!” called the DJ in a moment caught by several smartphone cameras.

In the videos, from a line of tuxedo-clad young men, 18-year-old Hernandez saunters out to a red carpet, dressed in a black sequined gown, blond wig, and immaculate makeup. He then claims the crown of Jeffersonville High School.

The outfit took him five hours to complete before the big dance.

“I was nervous going in; I felt like I was going to have a panic attack,” Hernandez said, reflecting on the night. “But then I walked on the red carpet, and everyone was screaming. I was more comfortable after that. I did take my heels off though because I was in a little pain.”

Hernandez did consider wearing a tuxedo like his fellow nominees, but something told him to mark the occasion with more flair.

“I was telling everyone, ‘Oh, I’m going to wear a suit,’ this and that, and then I came up looking like a goddess,” Hernandez said with a laugh.

Hernandez is nonbinary, and his pronouns are “he” or “they.” While his win of the prom king title is meaningful to him, he said he recognizes that it’s meaningful to many others that he hasn’t even met.

The TikTok video of his crowning has been viewed more than 160,000 times as of Monday evening.

“I’m glad it means a lot to them because I really want people to open and be themselves,” Hernandez said. “Because I know there’s plenty of people that have hate towards the LGBT [community], and I’m just trying to push some doors open for the community.”

Hernandez said not everyone was cheering him to the throne; however, his win isn’t for them.

“There were boys commenting that I shouldn’t have won,” Hernandez said. “I shrug them off.”

It’s easy enough to forget the naysayers, Hernandez said, because he has seen so much positive feedback.

“It really just warms my heart,” Hernandez said. “Sometimes I even get a tingly feeling, almost like love but almost crying. Alumni have contacted me saying they’re proud of me. Especially hearing ‘I’m proud of you?’ It just feels really good.”

Hernandez will graduate Jeffersonville High next month. He plans to attend Ivy Tech in Indianapolis to begin his college career, all the while continuing to create drag content and more.

WAVE — Louisville and Southern Indiana's NBC affiliate. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram...
WAVE — Louisville and Southern Indiana's NBC affiliate. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram @wave3news.(WAVE)

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