ONLY ON 5: Mother, transgender teen shares story - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

ONLY ON 5: Mother, transgender teen shares story

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BATESVILLE, MS -

(WMC-TV) – Leah Walton is anxious for her first prom this weekend.  But just a few months ago, the South Panola High School senior was known as Dylan, a man.

"Excited, I got my dress last Thursday," said Walton.  "About four weeks ago is when I started my transition full time."

Leah is a transgender and has been dressing as a female at school for only a month.

Monday, February 25 was Leah's first day.

"The first week was the hardest week," Walton explained.  "I made sure I had clothes and stuff and I wore jeans and a cute top and I wore high heels."

One group of students protested by violating the dress code, but Leah's Mom, Kimberly Hood, says it is the older generation that caused most of the fuss.

"It was the parents, the grown adults using words like 'abomination' and calling Leah ‘it'," said Hood.  "It hurt a lot. It really hurt a lot. I've lost friends."

Despite some of the outcry in Batesville, Mississippi, Leah developed a thick skin, learning to ignore the comments and whispers.

"I'm still the same person that people knew and was friends with before this happened," said Walton.

"As a parent, it's our job and our duty and responsibility to love our children unconditionally," Hood stated.

So this weekend, Leah will put on her prom dress and dance like no one is watching.

"I wish I would have done it sooner but other than that, I have no regrets. I'm the happiest I've ever been in my whole 17 years," Walton said.

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