Zackery Torres has an announcement to make.
It’s a very personal and courageous announcement, too.
On May 30, the former Dance Moms star, who now uses both they/them and she/her pronouns, took to Tiktok to announce a sigifnicant “life update.”
“I’m transitioning!” the 22-year old then excitedly shared.
With Dua Lipa’s smash hit single “Levitating” playing in the background, Torres revealed their news while dancing, going on as follows:
“That means I’m transgender if you didn’t know.
“My pronouns are they/she, which means that they or she are totally fine, and I’m just hopping on here to tell you that I’m going to be posting more on Tiktok and I’m excited about it!”
Torres previously history on Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition as the show’s first male-born contestant.
They went on to compete with instructor Cathy Stein and the Candy Apples team on the Lifetime competition Dance Moms.
Since making it big on the small screen, Torres graduated with honors from the University of Southern California in 2021 with a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in dance.
According to their Twitter bio, Torres is enrolled in a Masters of Arts program in public relations and advertising to be completed in 2022.
Years after playing a key role on Dance Moms, the dancer opened up about the impact this show had on them and their gender … especially when it came to coming out as transgender and non-binary.
“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,” Torres told USC student newspaper The Daily Trojan in October 2020.
“‘Oh, you’re too feminine, you need to dance like a man.’ Just having teachers tell you that on national television, all this stuff, it kind of really got to me.
“Everyone always talks about how inclusive the arts communities are. But I’m just not really feeling it. I’m not seeing it on an everyday scale.”
Torres also wrote an instructional guide, An Evolving Conversation on Gender: Dance Edition, in August 2020 to push for for change and to serve as a guide for how to discuss certain topics.
The book was published in conjunction with the organization Continuum Community, in which Torres is a founder and CEO.
“My goal in some way is to keep growing, keep pushing, so that any little young dancers out there can look up and see a non-binary dancer who went through the convention circuit, who went to college, who is trying to do something better for the community,” Torres previously explained in a conversation with ballet teacher Francisco Gella.
Added Torres at the time:
“When I think about gender inclusivity and I think about how we can best move forward as a society and how we evolve and grow, I think about compromise…
“It’s not about us compromising our identity.
“It’s about those who feel strong enough and feel comfortable enough to meet in the middle for a minute to then bring everyone over to the side of inclusivity.”
On Transgender Day of Remembrance in November 2020, Torres said in an Instagram post that their decision to be an advocate stems from wanting “to empower the next generation like the ones before did for me.”
They then wrote the following on Instagram after coming out on Saturday:
Don’t really have a ton of words to express how I am feeling right now, other than grateful.
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.
As I sit here with my mount still open, it is important to recognize the amount of LGBTQIA+ individuals who do not receive this loving response.
There is still work to be done, and I cannot wait to be a part of it. Much love, and HAPPY EARLY PRIDE MONTH!
We salute for Zackery Torres for the bravery it took to make this public statement. Way to go!