Transgender prom queen reminisces on crowning moment

By Zoe Travers
Journalism Intern

In 2015, Osmany Villa was the first transgender woman to be crowned prom queen in Oklahoma, and now she’s reminiscing on what it means to her four years later.

Villa was 17 years old when she was crowned prom queen of Emerson High School in Oklahoma City. She said a big part of why she ran was to empower herself and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

“It doesn’t matter what your sexual orientation is or what your gender is,” Villa said. “If you have a goal and the will to reach it, you can do it. We are living in a revolution of amazing changes. Why not be one of those people to help kick-start it even if to some it’s a small achievement?”

She said she hopes LGBTQ+ children in school will know that someone like them can achieve what they want.

Villa said she wanted to be prom queen since Pre-K, but she thought it would be impossible because she was growing up the opposite gender and wasn’t able to express her identity. But she kept the dream in mind, and eventually, it became a reality.

“I made my voice heard and did what my heart wanted,” she said. “Of course, it wasn’t a cakewalk. It never is.”

She remembers the moment she was crowned and all the thoughts rushing through her head about how nervous and excited she was. She remembers looking around at all the other nominees and seeing how gorgeous they looked, and she felt like she might not win.

“As they said, ‘the 2015 prom queen is...’ my heart started racing and my palms got sweaty,” she said. “Then bam! My name was called, and I screamed the loudest pterodactyl sound. It was very surreal.”

Villa said prom was a night to remember, not just because of her crowning moment, but also sharing the memories with friends, dancing, laughing, and having that unforgettable moment together.

Now, four years, later, Villa is telling her story to let people know that they should feel empowered in their self-expression.

“If I can at least flame one match, then maybe that match can flame thousands. Who knows? I could always be that match, but you never know until you try. This achievement is very important - the first trans prom queen in the state of Oklahoma, a bible belt state, not a swing state, but more of [a] Republican state, the list can go on. The odds were outweighing the pros. Everywhere I turned, it was a “no” and a struggle, but I overcame it for myself and for the people.”

Villa has some advice for people who want to become more comfortable with their self-expression in their orientation or gender.

She said she started small, wearing eyeliner now and then and branching out to lipstick and mascara. Then she started wearing breast padding, so it wasn’t as much of a shock when she transitioned. She eventually contacted a doctor to schedule an appointment for hormone replacement therapy.

“At first it’s very uncomfortable because it’s a change,” Villa said. “You’ve always felt it, but you’ve never just seen it, maybe in your mind, but never in the mirror looking right back at you.”

She also said sometimes there will be people who are confused and curious about a person’s gender expression, and the best thing to do is try to educate people and have conversations in a non-intimidating way.

“Knowing yourself is your foundation, and no one can knock you off of it,” Villa said. “It’s difficult, but if you know who you are, it’s better to shine then to regret. You never know who you might be helping, who is watching, and what great things come your way for just being yourself.”

To contribute to Villa’s goal for transition and to obtain hormones, click here.

Copyright The Gayly. 4.6.2019 @ 8:05 a.m. CST.