Amityville Memorial High School senior Dennis Siry, 18, doesn't normally dress up. But Siry showed up to the Amityville prom at Sterling Caterers in Bethpage Thursday night wearing a polka dot dress, black Doc Marten boots and a crown.
Siry identifies as "gender fluid." According to genderdiversity.org, gender-fluid people may feel they are more female on some days and more male on others, or possibly feel that neither term describes them accurately.
"I identify with all genders," Siry said. "I wear what I want."
Siry will attend SUNY Purchase this fall. Although Siry hasn't settled on a major, the senior plans to minor in women and gender studies.
"There's so much inequality," Siry said. "I want to fight and make it right."
Siry's physical education teacher, Greg McCoy, described the teen as unique.
"He does what he wants and I love it," McCoy said.
Art teacher Cara Garofalo added that Siry is outgoing, open-minded and artistic.
"He's very proud to be himself," she said. "The kids here are so accepting of him. He's got a good environment."
Siry, who was accompanied by date John Vasconez, did have to deal with a little apprehension from his parents.
"My mom was nervous someone would beat me up," Siry said, adding that the day before prom the college-bound student's father asked him if he was sure he wanted to wear the dress.
"They're just looking out for me," Siry said.
But everything turned out fine, befitting Siry's philosophy on life.
"Be kind to everyone," Siry said. "Don't hurt anyone's feelings. Live life for you."