On Saturday evening, out high school senior Ola Wolan's classmates at Lane Tech High School in Chicago named her 2013 Prom King, according to the Windy City Times. And judging by the fellow students chanting her name before her victory was announced, she won by a large margin over the five straight boys also nominated.
Wolan, pictured in the sunglasses above, was so nervous and excited that she told Windy City she barely touched her dinner and couldn't eat dessert. But she wasn't concerned about her classmates accepting her.
"I wasn't really worried about their reactions because most of them were OK and supportive, and each actually told me I likely would win," said Wolan, who Windy City reports is a popular, well-liked student. "I try to be really nice to everyone and really don't have a set group of friends; I just try to be pleasant to everyone."
But still, the moment of victory came as somewhat of a shock.
"After they announced the prince, it probably was one of the most surreal moments of my life when everyone started chanting my name," Wolan told Windy City. "Never in a million years would I have expected that, hearing so much love toward me for who I am and being open [about my sexuality]. It was incredible, a moment that will stick out in my head forever; I was tearing up."
Wolan, 17, wore a classic black tuxedo, and danced with the prom queen after earning her title. Wolan also danced with her date, junior Amber Lynn Phillips, as the prom queen danced with her (presumably male) date. Windy City reports that the couple was the sole gay-identified pair among the group of 30 with whom they attended the prom.
Wolan grew up in a conservative, Catholic, Polish home, where being gay was never discussed, reports Windy City. She began crushing on girls her freshman year, and initially identified as bisexual. But by sophomore year, Wolan was out as lesbian, and receiving nearly unanimous support from her peers.
Only one student at Lane Tech registered disapproval of Wolan's run for prom king — an opinion she made clear in a Facebook post, citing her religious convictions. Windy City reports that the girls have since had a lunch together that proved "a learning experience for both of us," according to Wolan.