CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A 17-year-old East Meck High School student has become the first transgender teen crowned Homecoming King in North Carolina.
The announcement was made during a halftime ceremony inside the school gym Friday Night.
Senior Blake Brockington received national attention following the nomination by his peers.
"Throughout my life I haven't always been treated equally as a male, so I've always wanted this and everybody has told me I couldn't do it. ‘You are a girl,' even though I've always identified myself as a male," said Brockington.
There were 13 seniors vying for the coveted title as king. Brockington won, collecting the most money for the school's chosen charity, Mothering Across Continents. It's a non-profit organization that funds the building of schools in the Sudan.
Brockington is no stranger to adversity. He says he is living with foster parents because his father is unable to accept his gender identity.
His foster parent, Donald Smith, told NBC Charlotte Brockington has the perseverance to overcome the challenges he faces.
"He really is hoping that it helps those behind him going through the same challenges and struggles," he said.
Teacher Bill Allen is the student advisor for the Gay-Straight Alliance on campus.
He says East Meck is known as a school of diversity. He says Brockington's achievement is the first step in representing what many of the students believe.
"Our young people understand we are all different. We have all races, genders and religious backgrounds. We have kids representing 30-40 languages in this school and people learn to accept each other as they are, and I think this is an example of what is going to be happening in North Carolina," he said.
Brockington plans to attend UNCC in the fall. He says he will continue his extracurricular activities like playing rugby and mentoring young transgender students.
"It's an honor to become part of East Meck's history," he said.
Brockington thanked his supporters, and says he wants to inspire students to never give up on their dream.
"They can be themselves regardless of what anybody else says. Even though you go through some things and have some negative encounters in your life, anything is possible. You can do anything you set your heart to," said Brockington.