MEQUON, Wis. — It was a dream come true for a girl who has struggled with acceptance ever since she was a little boy.
Like every student hopes to become toward the end of their high school career, Nikko Nelson was voted her high school's prom.
"I was talking to a person that was on the prom committee," Nikko explains how she found out she was the prom winner. "They said that 'you won prom queen,' and I was just like are you being serious?"
Although most everyone has been supportive of Nikko's transition, she says that always hasn't been the case from her peers at school. During prom queen and king elections, Nikko's best friend India Wilkerson posted a photo of Nikko on her Snapchat with the caption, "Vote for Nikko for Prom Queen!"
One of the responses she received from that said, "don't you mean king?"
But when Nikko realized it was her friends and the majority vote from her classmates that earned her the prom queen title, all of the good in this process trumped all the bad.
"I just like to think of myself as a normal person, but at the same time I realize that I do have a different quirk to me. I didn't win prom queen for being a transgender girl, I won prom queen for being Nikko Nelson."
It's been a journey that Nikko has been fortunate to not travel alone. By the time she had reached junior high, her parents said it was clear that Nikko was someone completely different on the inside than how she appeared on the outside.
"This is before Caitlyn Jenner," Nikko's mother explained. "This is before everything was in the news and we really didn't... Nikko kind of educated us about it. As much as Nikko is a transgender girl, she's our daughter."
The high school junior plans to have a career in fashion. She wore her first dress to her eighth grade graduation, and at prom, was stunting in the latest trends as she received her crown and sash.