On Friday night, 16-year-old Cassidy Lynn Campbell was crowned homecoming queen of Marina High School in Huntington Beach, California. It was covered by several West coast news outlets, and in the video, Campbell can be seen in tears as she’s crowned and applauded on the football field. She's the first transgender student to win that title.
On Saturday, the high schooler, who was born Lance Campbell, posted a heartbreaking video to YouTube. She tries to make sense of the win. She explains that she knows she should be happy, but she’s instead dealing with backlash from students and bullies, in person and online. “I’m always judged,” she says through tears. “And I’m always looked down upon.”
“Sometimes I wonder if it's even worth it,” she continues, “and if I should go back to being miserable and be a boy and hate myself and hate my life, just so everyone can just shut up and leave me alone.”
Campbell’s been documenting her transformation from boy to girl for a couple years on YouTube. She explains she’s always known she was a girl. “It’s not a choice,” Campbell says. “For 16 years I have struggled with whether I should do it or not.”
“Take girl out of it and I’m a human being,” Campbell goes on, commenting on the ignorance and negativity surrounding her win. “I’m a human.
"And I know I need to be strong for the kids who I did this for and the people who I did this for, but I can't right now."
Campbell’s amassed a devoted fanbase on Twitter and YouTube, where her campaign for homecoming queen initially started. In an interview with the L.A. Times right before homecoming, she said this win could be bigger than just her.
"I'm doing this for the kids who can't be themselves."
On Monday, she tweeted an update. Already, fans are urging her to record a follow-up video.
Thank you for all the love and support everyone<33 friday night was very hard but i am strong and have gotten past it, and am so happy now!— Cassidy Lynn (@xocassidylynn) September 23, 2013
I look so ratchet today its not even funny, but on a serious note im doing much better, no need to worry about me yall, thank you guys<33— Cassidy Lynn (@xocassidylynn) September 23, 2013
Screengrab via Cassidy Lynn/YouTube