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Calif. Transgender Student Crowned Homecoming Queen

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Monday Sep 23, 2013

A transgender teen had her dreams come true Friday night when she was named homecoming queen of her Huntington Beach, Calif., high school, the city's CW-affiliated station KTLA reports.

Cassidy Lynn Campbell, 16, says she couldn't believe she was crowned Marina High School's homecoming queen on Sept. 20.

"I instantly just dropped to the ground and started crying," she told KTLA. She said initially, running for homecoming queen was all about her, but she later "realized it wasn't for me anymore and I was doing this for so many people all around the country and the state and possibly the world and I am so proud to win this not just for me, but everyone out there."

KTLA reports that some students did have an issue with Campbell running for homecoming queen but the school's principal, Paul Morrow, said he's proud the way the majority of the audience voted.

"Were proud of the message from home of the Vikings has been one of equity, acceptance, tolerance and respect," Morrow told the news station.

Campbell told ABC's Huntington Beach affiliate station, KABC, that some students thought she is "just a boy doing this for fun, and I'm just a boy dressing up as a girl and trying to win a crown when that is completely the opposite of what it is. I've always seen myself as a girl." She added that the negative reaction stems from ignorance.

Campbell told KTLA she wants to be a stronger advocate for the LGBT community and promote equality. She said that teens like herself should, "Just to be true to themselves and to let people know around them and to not keep it bottled up inside."

The Los Angeles Times reports that the teen always felt like a girl and in high school she began taking hormone blockers and estrogen injections prescribed by an endocrinologist.

Earlier this month, Campbell told the Times that if she is named homecoming queen, "it would mean that the school recognizes me as the gender I always felt I was. But with all the attention, I realized it's bigger than me. I'm doing this for the kids who can't be themselves."

According to KABC, Campbell was one in five students running for homecoming queen and that she's Marina High School's first transgender student to be nominated and win.

Though she did receive some backlash for running for homecoming queen, a number of students were supportive.

"I think it's really cool how we allowed her to run, and I just think it's a really good thing," student Kelsey Callanan told KABC.

Still, it appears the negative backlash to her crowning impacted Campbell as the Huffington Post reports, the teen uploaded a heartbreaking YouTube video shortly after homecoming. The clip shows the student crying and she says people were being "ignorant" and "stupid" over her win.

"After 16 years of struggling, I finally do it and I finally am myself -- thinking I'll be so happy," she said in the clip. "It's just sad that everyone has to be so judgmental about it, and so hateful, and so mean and so negative. I've never done anything to any of these people. And I don't know why they have to be this way, when I've done nothing to them. It just hurts so bad because I feel just as much of a girl as all of them do... Everyone is just so ignorant."

In 2009, students from the College of William and Mary elected Jessee Vasold, a transgender student, as their homecoming queen.

Watch the Campbell's YouTube video below:


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