A transgender teenager who was named homecoming queen at her Orange County high school Friday night was overwhelmed by negative comments directed at her shortly after the victory, she confessed in a YouTube video.
In the video, Cassidy Lynn Campbell, a senior at Marina High School in Huntington Beach, said she put herself up for the title because she hoped to make a statement and draw attention to the push for equality for transgender people.
In doing so, she also became part of a small but growing movement of transgender teens nationwide entering competitions for traditional honors such as homecoming and prom king and queen.
But making the statement came at a price: In the nearly nine-minute video, Campbell tearfully laments the backlash after her victory.
“The one night that should be happiest for a girl and should be so monumental, I can’t even enjoy it. I can’t even be happy,” Campbell said into her webcam after the victory, still wearing her sash and tiara. “I just wished for one day, for one day I could be happy. And have everyone be happy for me. And it can never just happen.”
The video was posted onto Campbell’s YouTube channel Saturday.
She said she had celebrated her victory by going to a Norms diner with about 15 friends, then went home, where she saw the attacks on social media.
“I know I need to be strong, and I know I need to be strong for the kids I did this for, for the people I did this for,” she said in the video.
By the end of the weekend, Campbell said she felt better.
"They were voicing their opinion about something they don't even know the full story about,” she told The Times. “I got really emotional. But when morning came, I was a lot better."