A transgender teen, who said he chose to leave his school after being given an ultimatum about his transition, has been crowned homecoming king at his new school.
Stiles Zuschlag, 17, of Maine, received the distinction at Noble High School’s football game Friday among a crowd of cheering students.
“I was really excited. I wanted to cry,” Zuschlag told InsideEdition.com. “I felt like I could excel no matter where I was.”
Zuschlag said he chose to leave his previous school, Tri-City Christian Academy in Somersworth, N.H., after he was called into a meeting about his gender identity.
The teen, who was born female, began his transition in 2015, but said he tried to keep the change under the radar. He said he still used the woman’s locker rooms and bathrooms at the school.
Over the summer, however, Zuschlag explained that he was called into the office and an administrator said that he could homeschool and still receive a degree from the school, but could not attend if he was going to continue his transition due to the school’s belief system.
Tri-City Christian Academy did not return a message left by InsideEdition.com, but said in a statement to the Bangor Daily News that they would not comment on the situation.
“To protect the privacy of our families, TCCA admissions decisions and any reasons for these various decisions, are not considered matters for public disclosure. Therefore, we have no comment. Thank you,” the statement read.
Zuschlag, who is now a senior, made the decision to transfer to Noble High School in September and said he quickly felt accepted, but had no idea he’d become homecoming king.
“All the seniors had an email sent out that said vote for homecoming king and queen. I received the email too and I Snapchatted it [saying,] ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if I won?'"
But Zuschlag said he was surprised when people began telling him they voted for him and he realized he’d been officially nominated.
“When they announced at the game that I won homecoming king, the crowd went wild,” Zuschlag said. “It was so surreal. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me, to know that I won homecoming king not because I’m transgender, but because people actually want me to be their king.”