Landon Patterson, 17, was elected homecoming queen of her school in Kansas City, Missouri, on Saturday.
Patterson, a senior at Oak Park High School, came out as transgender in her junior year to a surprisingly supportive reception.
"When I came out as trans I was so afraid that I was expecting a lot of hate, but surprisingly there wasn't much at all," she told BuzzFeed News.
"There was some here and there but it was stuff that was never said to my face."
Patterson told BuzzFeed News she never thought being homecoming queen was a possibility for her, and the announcement "felt too good to be true".
"To be elected homecoming queen was an amazing feeling," she said.
"I was so excited that my peers felt so accepting of me and excited that I was making history for the trans/LGBT community."
Messages of support for Patterson poured in from friends, strangers, and the school cheerleading coach.
Patterson said her message to other transgender kids at school is "do what will make you happy".
"Life is too short to try and please others," Patterson said.
"So be yourself and rock it with confidence. Confidence will take you a long way when you're different. It will let people know you're sure of yourself and that is a very hard thing to be.
"So do what your heart wants and rock it out. We aren't given enough time so it's important we do what makes us happy."