Former Dance Moms star Lennon Torres is opening up about her recent surgery. Last year, Torres, formerly known as Zachary, announced they'd undergo the transition process. The announcement came in the form of a TikTok video revealing use of both they/them and she/her pronouns. With Dua Lipa's hit song "Levitating" playing in the background, Torres shared the news with her fans that she'd begin the transition process. Torres was previously the first male-born contestant on Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition with coach Abby Lee Miller. She then went on to perform under the instruction of rival Cathy Stein and the Candy Apples team. Now, she's updating fans with where she is today.
"I feel, honestly, euphoric," Torres told E! News in an exclusive interview Oct. 25. "I think there's such a narrative about these types of steps," Torres explained, "like, 'It's the biggest step ever!' and we go from point A to point B. I know people have done a 'before' photo and an 'after' photo—it is what it is. It's great, I love that, but I think a transition is really a transition. I've seen my body do these amazing things with estrogen and other hormone replacement therapy options, and my body has really been changing gradually. So it doesn't feel like a really huge, mind-blowing moment. It feels a little bit more like, we just made the next logical step and I couldn't feel happier about it."
The 23-year-old USC alum is aware of the impact the step has on her life and others. "I really try to project trans joy when I can," Torres added, "because in the news there's a lot of heaviness when it comes to talking about the transgender community."
With that in mind, she's happy she's in a space where she can ignore any negative commentary. "Every day I wake up and I'm like, If I was younger than I am right now, or even just a little bit less confident, it would be really hard to go online these days while doing what I'm doing, because someone always is going to say something negative about you and your family and your choices, and where you're going after you die," Torres said. "It's always something, and luckily I feel really strong and grounded in who I am."
Torres graduated with honors from the University of Southern California in 2021 with a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in dance. She is currently enrolled in Masters of Arts program in public relations and advertising to be completed this year. But being a voice for the LGBTQ+ community is a priority for her.
"Being transgender is so fulfilling and our stories can be so inspiring," she told the outlet. "Every time I make a step forward, I always am conscious to remind myself of how lucky I am to be given the opportunity, the resources and the capacity to make that step forward."
Torres isn't the only Dance Moms star to be open about her identity and sexuality. Chloé Lukasiak confirmed she was dating Brooklinn Khoury in Oct. 2021. She told PEOPLE Magazine in an interview: "All of my family and friends have known for quite a while, but to take away that last layer hiding was so freeing," she said.