Boy in sequined prom dress ‘living his best life’

By Laura Devlin
BBC News, East

  • Published
Media caption,

Korben was greeted with loud cheers from fellow pupils and school staff when he arrived at the prom

A 16-year-old boy who wore a red dress to his school prom has said it was "surreal" it had been seen more than seven million times on social media.

Korben stepped out in a sequined tuxedo and ballgown skirt to loud cheers from pupils and staff at Archbishop Sancroft High School in Harleston, Norfolk.

His mum, Nina Green, tweeted a photo and said she was incredibly proud he was being true to himself.

Korben said: "It sends a message - you can be who you want to be."

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Mrs Green said she wanted to show him "living his best life" - and had no idea her positive message would "go crazy" in the way it had.

"As soon as he got out of the car, everyone just cheered and I was crying, some of the teachers were crying, because he was being who he wanted to be," she said.

"Everyone has been very supportive, and his year group has been incredible.

"If you let your child be who they are then you'll get nothing but the best out of them.

"There are people in the world who still don't understand, but the feeling of acceptance, you can't beat that feeling.

"I am so happy for him."

The next day, they were heading to Pride in London when Mrs Green's phone went "crazy".

Her tweet been retweeted more than 4,000 times, including by one of Korben's idols - Ru Paul's Drag Race star Michelle Visage, who said he was a "star".

Korben said it was "very surreal" Visage had shared the pictures of him.

"To me she is such an icon, a wonderful celebrity and I really admire her," he said.

Image source, Twitter

"When I showed Korben the retweet he was absolutely blown away - he was so made up," said Mrs Green.

"We also had retweets from H from Steps, and Dr Ranj, it was amazing.

"Then at Pride, someone in the march came up to him said 'are you the boy in the red dress? I think you're amazing'."

Mrs Green said Korben had always loved wearing dresses and since his early teens had performed as "sassy" drag queen Miss Frou Frou.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

But when it came to his prom, he wanted to keep Miss Frou Frou at home, she added.

"He want to go as himself, while expressing his feminine side - with a tuxedo on the top and a dress at the bottom, very much influenced by [American actor] Billy Porter.

"He wanted to be Korben... but in a dress."

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
American actor Billy Porter's style was very influential to Korben' prom look

She added that the response since has been "incredible" - with one parent even messaging Mrs Green for advice on supporting her own son, who had recently come out as gay.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

"I just wanted to show parents in the same situation that it's ok," she said.

"I think it's so important to fly the flag, for people who don't get the support he does.

"I really hope it will help others be more accepting, let proud parents feel they are not alone, and that they can celebrate their children, and for young people to know there is a network there if they need it.

"You need to accept your children for who they are."

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