The Hot 10 | Luis DeJesus

the hot 10 > LUIS DEJESUS

06/30/16 by DEON NEWSOM  


From ‘Lemonade’ to original artwork, Luis DeJesus relives #Prom2K16 & gives us the latest must-haves.

Next to graduation itself, prom is probably the most culminating event of any student’s high school experience. Sure, some choose not to indulge, for whatever reasons, but many dream about the day well before its time. Luis DeJesus can certainly identify with the latter. Just a few weeks ago, the recent grad finally got his chance to celebrate the momentous occasion, and did so in the most regal and admirable fashion.

“It was something we really wanted to do together,” DeJesus says about his prom experience with best friend Michael. “Initially, we had planned to go together during our freshmen year, but with different events happening, I ended up moving to Florida. When senior year came around we talked about it again and I decided to fly back home to New Jersey and go with him.”

What could have easily turned out to be the dreadful tale lived out by countless LGBTQ teens across the country, instead proved to be the complete opposite for DeJesus. Ally support in the form of parents and peers not only made the event just as accommodating as for any other student, but also contributed a great deal to the night’s exuberance.

“My mom has been supportive of me being gay since day one,” he says. “When I told her I was going with Michael to prom she was all for it. She really likes him and considers him her son too.”

Old friends at Rosa L. Parks School of Fine & Performing Arts cheered on as well.

“The students that are selected to attend are really open about everything,” he says. “No one really has an issue about sexuality.”

School staff, on the other hand, may have had one initially.

“I feel like the administration were a bit shocked when we walked in together holding hands — we were the only same-sex couple present — but in the end everybody was fine with it.”

Photos from DeJesus’ prom night garnered international attention and went viral almost immediately after he posted them. To date, his tweet, which highlights four of his prom photos, has been liked more than 45,000 times and retweeted by nearly 21,000 people.

“Honestly, I didn’t post the pictures for attention,” he says. “They were for my friends in Florida who were excited for me, so for the pictures to blow up that much was very overwhelming. I couldn’t believe it. I’m still shocked at this moment. But it’s really nice to see people appreciate two gay kids going to prom.”

DeJesus plans to attend Florida Atlantic University in the spring. His advice to LGBTQ students thinking about their prom next year?

“I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t have the support of my family and friends,” he says. “But I just say go for it. You only have one high school prom. I wouldn’t let anyone ruin it if that’s what you really want. You have to do what makes you happy.”

follow Luis: 

The Hot 10 | Luis DeJesus (May/June)

1.)  Views, DrakeLemonade, Beyoncé

“The music is very different from what they’ve produced before and really gets me going.”

2.) Chimichurri

“It’s a Dominican sandwich that you can buy from one of those fast food trucks late at night… so good!”

3.) iPhone, Apple

“My whole life is basically on my phone; without it I’d be one lost puppy.”

4.) Coconut Curling Cream, Cantu

“This is the go-to. It helps tame my curls, and it smells good too.”

5.) Netflix

“If I’m watching something, it’s probably on Netflix.” 

6.) How to Be Single, Warner Bros. Pictures

“…really funny movie.”

7.) A broom

“I don’t clean, but I used one the other day.”

8.) JungleMIA

“I went with three of my friends. We got stuck on the island and had to call the police to come pick us up. It was a hot mess [laughs].”

9.) Denim shorts, Forever 21

“They’re the favorite thing in my closet right now.”

10.) My art

“I’ve been doing art for a long time. I love it.”


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