A transgendered teen named homecoming queen by her California high school has posted an emotional video on YouTube describing the backlash she received from fellow students.
Cassidy Lynn Campbell, 16, is the first transgendered teen to be crowned homecoming queen at Marina High School in Huntington Beach, California.
However not all students at Marina High School were supportive of Campbell's transformation and excited to see 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 video posted online shortly after the win.
"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," she continued.
Prior to posting the emotional video, Campbell expressed pride at winning the title.
“I am so proud to win this not just for me, but everyone out there,” 16-year-old Cassidy Campbell said after receiving her crown during the halftime of Marina High’s homecoming football game Friday night in Huntington Beach, CA.
She rose to national prominence when it was reported that she was entering the contest.
“Just to be true to themselves and to let people know around them and to not keep it bottled up inside,” Campbell said about what her win should mean for fellow members of the transgendered community.
Local affiliate KTLA 5 first reported that Campbell had been selected by her classmates at Marina High on Friday to be this year’s homecoming queen.
Marina High Principal Paul Marrow praised his students for Campbell’s victory, saying, “We're proud of the message from home of the Vikings has been one of equity, acceptance, tolerance and respect.”
Earlier on Friday it was reported that Cassidy had been chosen as a finalist in the competition.
Leading up to the selection, Cassidy had been insistent that she hoped her effort would raise awareness and support for other transgendered teens.
"If I win, it would mean that the school recognizes me as the gender I always felt I was," Cassidy said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times .
"But with all the attention, I realized it's bigger than me," she said.
"I'm doing this for the kids who can't be themselves."
Marina High administrators have also received positive attention for their response to Cassidy’s campaign.
"If Marina High School is to make high-profile news during its homecoming week this year," Morrow said in a statement published by the Times, "then we are proud that the message is one of equity and individual respect."