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McKinney High School Crowns Lesbian Homecoming Queen

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MCKINNEY (CBS 11 NEWS) - There are a lot of homecoming queens being crowned across North Texas this fall. But the competition in McKinney featured a student who hopes to shatter the traditional image.

Decked out in boots, a tuxedo and a bow tie, April Swartz-Larson is the first open lesbian student to campaign for McKinney High School's homecoming queen.

"It would have been funny to see me out there in a dress," said April.

The 17-year-old McKinney High School senior was nominated by her friend and classmate Emilee Swim.

"I think she was perfect for this because she's the kindest person I know," said Emilee.

April's friends and family have accepted her since she came out in the eighth grade. But April remembers a time when others didn't.

"They were weirded out by it and (for) some of them there was hate behind it," recalls April, who admitted she was a long shot to win her school's homecoming crown.

"I'm not the typical choice for homecoming queen at all. I'm gay, first of all, and I'm gay… living in McKinney."

At Friday night's game against Denison, April's dad, Darrin Larson, accompanied her to the center of the field to wait for the announcement.

"First I was nervous because I was afraid someone was playing a joke on her, but when I found out it was serious, I was just so happy for her."

When April's name was called as the winner, the stands erupted with cheer. The response from the crowd meant more than the crown for a homecoming queen unlike any this Collin County town has ever seen.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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