Posing in a fiery red skirt and a sequin-speckled tuxedo top that perfectly matches his scarlet-colored hair, 16-year-old Korben White blew up the internet with the billowing ballgown he wore to his high school prom.
After a viral post made by his mom Nina Green, that shows her teenaged son primed and primped for prom, fervent disciples of the woke movement praised his flowing frock while others played the shame game, saying it demonstrates the “failure” of a parent “in encouraging this sort of thing.”
When Korben White was only 12, he told his mother Nina Green “he wanted to go to his school prom in a gown.”
In 2022, only four years after his declaration of intent, the teen–a “sassy” young drag queen who goes by the name Miss Frou Frou–made it happen.
Speaking with the BBC, Green explains her son’s inspiration. “He wanted to go as himself, while expressing his feminine side–with a tuxedo on the top and a dress at the bottom, very much influenced by [American actor] Billy Porter.” She continued, “He wanted to be Korben…but in a dress.”
At age 12 my son announced he wanted to go to his school #prom in a gown. Four years later we made it happen. I’m so incredibly #proud of him for being true to himself & the reception he got from his whole school was incredible. What do you think @michellevisage @theebillyporter pic.twitter.com/lsLKnmY9k5— Nina Green (@thisisneenz) July 1, 2022
And when he stepped out of the car in the sparkly red outfit paired with a white shirt and a giant red bow, Korben’s big reveal was applauded by both staff and students at Archbishop Sancroft High School in Harleston, Norfolk.
“As soon as he got out of the car, everyone just cheered and I was crying, some of the teachers were crying, because he was being who he wanted to be,” the proud mom said of Korben. “Everyone has been very supportive, and his year group has been incredible. If you let your child be who they are then you’ll get nothing but the best out of them.”
Her son’s biggest champion, Green continued her massive show of support with a tweet on July 1.
Paired with a few photos of Korben in the spectacular outfit, Green writes, “At age 12 my son announced he wanted to go to his school prom in a gown. Four years later we made it happen. I’m so incredibly proud of him for being true to himself & the reception he got from his whole school was incredible.”
Her post gained a lot of momentum with millions of users around the world sharing commenting, and complimenting the handsome young man.
It even reached Michelle Visage, a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race, who said, “You are an amazing beautiful mom and your child is a STAR.”
@michellevisage Thank you for having @korben_white and I on your @BBCRadio2 show this evening! Your support has been amazing and we’re looking forward to speaking again soon. pic.twitter.com/BxrD3d8oXL— Nina Green (@thisisneenz) July 14, 2023
Korben said it was “very surreal” that his mother’s tweet captured the attention of Visage.
“To me she is such an icon, a wonderful celebrity and I really admire her,” he said.
Green wasn’t expecting that her show of support would “go crazy,” and said she only wanted to show her son “living his best life,” which made other parents look for her advice.
Some users shared photos and stories of their own gender-bending children.
One writes, “I worry for my son, he would really love to do something like this at prom but he would definitely not have the support of all the students! So sad that we still have homophobia even now. Well done to you, your son and his school!”
A second shares, “I am so happy for your son he looked absolutely amazing!!!My son is trans, after 3yrs of transphobic bullying in Jan b4 GCSEs [General Certificate of Secondary Education offered in parts of the UK] I had to take him out of school for his mental health. He was always going to prom in a tux and he was deprived of the chance.”
A third simply writes, “Absolutely stunning! My daughter wore a suit to hers!”
From Korben to @missfroufrou1 Here’s just a few pics after an amazing photoshoot! Thanks so much to @jamesburtonpics Watch out @dragraceukbbc she’s coming for ya! @michellevisage pic.twitter.com/p8D0CldJOC— Nina Green (@thisisneenz) September 24, 2022
Meanwhile, the positivity was met a string of other comments, which serve as a reminder that not everyone is on the same social path.
One writes, “There is very little hope for civilization,” and a second shares, “…Vile, Woke & a failure as a parent in encouraging this sort of thing. A 12 year old boy should be playing football and learning to be a man. But, sadly people now a days virtue signal, like what you’re doing with this tweet, and ruin their kids for life. Shame.”
Another netizen says the support for Green’s post is troubling. “There is absolutely nothing natural about a ‘boy’ dressing like a ‘girl’–the support shows just how screwed up our world is.” And one cyber fan goes so far as to suggests the world is lacking logic, “We live in a world where children should no longer pretend to be Indians but men should pretend to be women. Utopian.”
Yet, a steadfast warrior of support, Green wasn’t willing to surrender to the online hate.
The day after the internet-exploding tweet, Green accompanied her son to London Pride and shared a sweet photo of the two.
One cyber user commented, “My boy did too, couldn’t be prouder, he’s also at London Pride today aged 16 it’s fabulous love and to you and yours,” and a second shared, “you both look amazing xx”
A third attacks the mom, writing, “Your son doesn’t look like a man anymore, some kind of fa****”
We were at London Pride today too! pic.twitter.com/UCJozTQs1N— Nina Green (@thisisneenz) July 2, 2022
Green, who comments on Twitter that she ignores the negativity, says she hopes other children and parents will find encouragement through the relationship she shares with Korben.
“I really hope it will help others be more accepting, let proud parents feel they are not alone, and that they can celebrate their children, and for young people to know there is a network there if they need it.” She continued, “You need to accept your children for who they are.”
Korben Green certainly is a brave young man for expressing himself the way he does! And he’s very fortunate to have such a supportive mom, who shuts out the noise and continues parenting him in the best way she knows.
What do you think of teens attending prom in outfits that don’t represent their genders assigned at birth?
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If you found this story interesting, you’ll likely enjoy the one on the Christian school teacher who refused to use transgender student’s preferred pronouns.