|Blacksburg High School Prom Queen, Jake Boyer|
Blacksburg, Va is the home of Virginia Tech, where members of Westboro Baptist Church staged protests last year on the anniversary of the shootings in April, 2007 that left 32 people dead. The entire town turned out in a show of solidarity and to take a stand against intolerance. The event may have helped set the stage for Boyer's coming out this year and his classmate's willingness to support his decision to run for Prom Queen.
WDBJ-7 News reports:
"He was like oh my goodness let's run with that," recalled Jake's friend Bailey Steele.
"This prom queen thing sort of became a manifestation of all right this is who I am. It's time to show it off," Boyer explained.
He was crowned Blacksburg High School's 2011 Prom Queen.
"Obviously everybody was more than willing to go with an openly gay male prom queen," he said.
Boyer dressed in drag as performer Lady Gaga.
"I was initially met with some skepticism and I met with them and said I want to do this."
"They actually decided about letting Jake being prom queen two weeks before prom, but they didn't tell anyone because they didn't want the media showing up or anything," explained Steele.
Boyer graduates soon and will attend Pace University in New York City for theatre.
He'll always be most proud of how accepting everyone was of him at Blacksburg High School, and the moment he was crowned prom queen.
"More than anything, this experience just gave me hope for the future. Like, oh my gosh, this little town in the middle of Virginia is able to be this open,"
As for those who don't agree...
"I would like to paraphrase Lady Gaga when I say this is me. This is who I am. I was born this way," said Boyer.See the video interview here.