16-Year-Old Applauded By ‘Proud’ Mom And Peers For Rocking Red Prom Dress
Mar 17, 2023 by apost team
When Korben White was only 12 years old, he already knew what he wanted to wear for prom: a dress.
The biggest supporter of this dream was his mother, Nina Green. She said since his early teens, her son had always loved to wear dresses, adopting the persona of “sassy” drag queen “Miss Frou Frou” to express himself. But for prom, he wanted the look to be all him.
“He wanted 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,” she explained.
White told “This Morning” that he has always had a girly side.
“I’ve always been very feminine. I’ve always liked dresses playing with barbies when I was 4 (and) dressing up in my cousin’s dresses. But then when I was 12, that’s when I was like, I want to go to prom in a dress. A suit’s just not for me. I just didn’t feel like that would be expressing myself how I want to and then, thanks to my mom and our lovely friend Kirk, we made it happen,” he said.
Because of his flair for the dramatic, White decided to keep his prom outfit a secret from his friends and teachers, although his mother was sure they knew something was up his sleeve.
“I think the teachers knew he wasn’t going to be in a bog-standard suit,” Green said.
And when the student of Archbishop Sancroft High School in Harleston, Norfolk, in the United Kingdom stepped out wearing a fire engine red sequined tuxedo jacket over a full ball gown skirt for prom, his mother wasn’t the only one who got emotional.
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“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.
“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’m so happy for him,” the proud mother said.
And when Green posted photos of the fabulous outfit to social media, the two could not believe the responses it received.
When Green posted photos of her son’s prom outfit to Twitter on July 1, 2022, it went viral almost instantly and attracted the attention of local and national media. It has been retweeted almost 4,000 times, including by “RuPaul’s Drag Race” star Michelle Visage. White said he was thrilled by the appreciation from one of his idols, calling it “very surreal.”
While Green admitted she had reservations about posting the photos, she decided to do it in the end.
“I didn’t expect it to get the reaction that it did but what’s important to me, whilst I knew there would probably be some negative comments, the message I’ve got is far more important … that message of acceptance. … If I told him he couldn’t wear a dress, I would fail as a parent because I’m not letting him be true to himself and it’s so important that he lives an authentic life and I don’t want to hide him away. … It’s so important because (when) he’s happy, I’m happy,” she told ITV’s “This Morning.”
Green’s message of love and acceptance has been embraced by thousands.
“Yaaas! He looks incredible! Some parts of the world our children inhabit fill me with fear, but I LOVE that a 16-year-old gets to be his absolute fabulous self at his school prom. Excellent work!” @NM_Mum wrote.
“In years to come your child will thank you so much for supporting them and allowing them to express who they are and how they feel so freely,” @alunsaunders tweeted.
Many also retweeted the post with stories of their own children embracing their true selves.
“My son also went to prom in a dress, now called Sky. She has never been so happy in life just wish we had been aware earlier. Those who don't understand that's fine just accept people for who they feel they are. He looks beautiful,” one proud mama tweeted.
Some were not 100% on board, though.
“In America that (might) work ... but in a lot of places this would bring out the bad element in others ... I am accepting of other ppls rights and stuff … but I sometimes (in my country) would draw the line at this ... maybe at home OK but not in public ... when he is older ... maybe?” a user tweeted.
“Sorry, I think it’s weird. Have no issues with who people want to be. But a guy in a dress is just puzzling. It’s a beauty, though,” another user wrote.
A few days later, Green also accompanied her son as he wore the same outfit for a Pride parade in Norwich.
While Green said she is happy White’s story is inspiring others – parents included – to be more accepting and inclusive, her priority remains her son’s happiness:
“I’m so proud of him for showing who he really is and he’s being true to himself.”
What do you think of Korben White’s dress? Was your prom outfit just as spectacular? Let us know, and pass this on to all the fashionistas you know!