A teenager from Wales is believed to have been crowned the UK’s first transgender prom queen.
Prom night is a special milestone in the life of any teenager, but for 16-year-old Lori Beynon, from Cardigan, the occasion was extra magical after she was voted to receive the prom queen sash by her fellow pupils.
Born Luis, the outgoing fashion lover first began her transition two years ago after confessing her true identity to her mum in a text message.
Now the student is about to begin hormone treatment and has started to wear skirts to school.
But the teen had never worn a ‘proper dress’ until her end of school prom – so she was amazed when her classmates at Cardigan Secondary School voted her to be this year’s prom queen in a moment the teen describes as the “best of her life.”
“When they called out my name it was amazing,” she told SWNS. “It was quite scary walking up in front of everyone. Everyone was standing up and clapping. I didn’t feel like I was a girl — I felt like I was a queen.”
Lori says she knew she was a girl from the age of three, and loved wearing big sister Chloe’s clothes and playing with her Bratz dolls.
“I’ve always wanted to dress like a girl and present myself as a girl,” she explains.
“Being called ‘him’ and ‘he’ never really felt real to me. It always felt wrong. It was weird.”
“As a kid I used to wear all my sister’s clothes. I used to put a towel on my head to pretend it was long hair.
It was only when she got older and started school that Lori realised the “outside didn’t match the inside” and at 10 she started searching the Internet to try to put a name on her feelings.
“I had no idea what it meant to be transgender then. I had no clue. I read lots of articles about it and watched a few documentaries,” she continues.
“I knew that was me but I kept it inside for a really long time.”
In the end, at the age of 13 Lori bravely plucked up the courage to tell her mum, Sarah Young, that she wanted to have gender reassignment surgery.
“I told her in a text because I was too scared to tell her to her face,” she said.
“I just told her that I knew this is what I wanted to do. I had done lots of research on it and I told her that I was 100 per cent sure that I wanted to do it – that I was transgender.”
At the time Lori had just started puberty, a period that she describes as the “worst time in my life.”
“I would be there looking at my face and thinking, ‘Do I have a beard?’” she said.
“To start all the hormone treatment I knew it was going to be a long process and I thought, ‘If I don’t tell my mum now it will be an even longer wait.’”
Lori said the thought of having to go through male puberty as a girl was heartbreaking, so the teenager was hugely relieved her mother was so supportive of her decision to transition.
A newly-confident Lori started to grow her hair, experiment with wearing more girls’ clothes, and began counselling at the Gender Identity Development Service at London’s Tavistock Clinic .
In June 2015 she changed her name to Lori and now identifies as female all the time.
Her end of school prom was the first time Lori had dressed so glamorously in front of her fellow pupils and though she was eagerly anticipating the opportunity, she never imagined she’d be voted to receive the crown and sash.
“I never thought at all that I would get prom queen,” she says. “It was totally incredible.”
“I just want to go as far as I can to feel authentic to myself and who I am. Being prom queen was one step closer.”
Read more from Yahoo Style UK: