Showing their pride! Zackery Torres, best known as the first male-born cast member of “Dance Moms,” took to TikTok the day before Pride Month to announce, “Life update … I’m transitioning!” The dancer went on to explain that they are transgender (“in case you didn’t know”) and will be using they/she pronouns from now on.
The news probably didn’t come as much of a surprise to Torres’ fans. The dancer came out as nonbinary with “they” pronouns two years ago as a sophomore at the University of Southern California. Torres went on to found Continuum Community, an organization helping promote gender inclusion. One community particularly close to their heart is dance — an arena where they frequently felt misunderstood and inauthentic. Torres once told the Daily Trojan that the dance world still promotes stereotypical binary representations. As a male-born dancer, they were expected to come across as tough and masculine in their performing. Thanks to Torres’ efforts, USC’s ballet program now divides classes according to type of footwork, rather than binary gender.
Zackery Torres has added a new name
Zackery Torres was first discovered at age 13 on “Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition,” a “Dance Moms” spinoff in which 12 young dancers vied for a scholarship to the prestigious Joffrey Ballet Company. Zackery, the first-ever male-born contestant on the show, came in 9th, but went on to appear in three seasons of “Dance Moms.” They told the Daily Trojan, “I started seeing all of the expectations that teachers — well-known dance teachers, and well-known choreographers — had for me as a male dancer growing up and at the time identifying as a boy.”
It was then that Torres began their journey to discover their true identity — a journey that their fans are applauding all the way. Representative comments on the TikTok video include “YASSS so happy for you” and “That’s beautiful!!!! So proud of u bestie.” One curious follower asked, “I hope this isn’t insensitive, but do you plan on changing your name?” Torres replied, “Zackery Lennon.”
The dancer later took to Instagram to acknowledge the tens of thousands of well-wishers: “Don’t really have a ton of words to express how I am feeling right now, other than grateful,” she said. “Grateful to everyone who has supported me and continued to help me be my full self. Grateful for the outpour of love and support. Grateful to all the advocates who made this possible.” They concluded, “There is still work to be done, and I cannot wait to be a part of it.”
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