Daniel Holba: Prom King

Daniel Holba: Prom King
Daniel Holba (12) poses by the fountain at Harmann Rose Garden in Lincoln, NE on April 16, 2016 before prom. Photo by Laura Tharnish

By Samantha Stuefer – Prom was a little different this year. Our king, senior Daniel Holba, wore a dress.
“It made me proud of our school,” Holba said. “You don’t really see someone like me be crowned prom king. So it just says how much this school supports me and it’s just supporting in general. Not just of me, but of everyone.”
“I feel like it was taken well,” senior and student council member Mackenzie Healey said. “I mean obviously he was voted to that position. It was well received, and I think that everyone was pretty happy for him.”
“I think it was just so normal,” student council leader Nicole Barnes said. “Kids were happy for Daniel just like they would be happy for anybody.”
Holba said that he feels very welcomed at Lincoln High and safe.
“High school is all about finding yourself and this school, everyone in this school has really supported me. Like, helping me be myself and find myself and what I want to do with my life,” Holba said.
Holba said that in middle school, he was trying really hard to deny the fact that he was gay and to be like “the other guys.”
“I tried to dress like the other guys and act like the other guys and everyone would be like, ‘Oh, are you gay?’ or something like that and I’d be like ‘No, I’m not gay!’” Holba said.
Holba said that he tried to deny it until he met his first gay friend in Freshman year when he came to Lincoln High.
“He opened up a door to me,” Holba said. “Everyone liked him and I was like ‘Well, everyone’s supporting him, maybe I should try it.’ So, then I started to take a couple style tips from him. I would dress a little more of what I would like. Tighter jeans and just a gradual process. And then Sophomore year I kind of did the same thing, I changed my hair up a little bit. And then everyone just started to accept me.”
Holba went on to explain that he felt like at first people seemed confused, and that’s what made him feel unaccepted.
“They just wanted to know, ‘What are you?’ you know?” Holba said. “Then I finally came out as like, ‘yeah, I’m gay,’ right? And I finally embraced it myself. I feel like that was like, the biggest factor.”
“Junior year I was looking more onto the feminine things,” Holba said. “I kind of like girlier clothes. I like make­up. I was getting into that stuff, and I always watch YouTube tutorials…so I told myself that in the summer I would try and be more feminine. Like, try out girls’ clothes. Like, try make­up skills and so summer school came around and I was trying out little things here and there. I wore my first pair of track shorts from cheer practice. For me right now, I’m like, ‘That wasn’t even anything.’ But that moment…that was like a huge step for me because you don’t really see a guy wearing short­shorts unless they’re like, doing a track meet or cross country meet.”
Holba also mentioned when he was little.
“I never really played with boy toys. I always had all my Bratz dolls, all my Barbie dolls,” he explained.
“When I got into my senior year, I had a few girlier outfits,” Holba said. “I was getting positive responses on social media. A lot of people liked my pictures and that gave me more confidence because I had a lot of people supporting me.”
Holba also said that this year has been a learning process of what looks good and what doesn’t look good and how to do his makeup better.
He plans on moving to Los Angeles after high school to attend the New York Academy to study acting and eventually become an actor.

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