A beautiful transgender homecoming queen has broken new ground in the United States after winning the crown and title at her high school in Huntington Beach California. Gorgeous Cassidy Lynn Campbell was born a boy but knew that she was a girl inside. As a young child she longed to wear girl’s clothes and to identify as a girl. She has understanding and supportive parents who have encouraged her to take medical steps toward becoming the woman she was always meant to be, including male hormone blockers and estrogen shots. She began her transition in high school. Her joy at winning the title, however, has been sullied because she has been viciously attacked on social media after the crowning.
Campbell nominated herself for the title of homecoming queen because she wanted to raise awareness about the transgender community. She was shocked when she won, and said she was shaking and that when her name was called “it seemed like a dream.” With her friends cheering her on, Campbell ascended to stage and received her glittering tiara of victory.
Campbell realizes the tremendous impact of her achievement and just how important it is for recognition of the transgender community. “I just think it is such a huge step for the transgender community. The majority at my school wanted me to win. So many people embraced me and accept me for who I am. I think that is pretty profound,” she said proudly.
She was very nervous when accepting the award, which she received during halftime of a school football game. The win was filled with heartfelt emotion, and Campbell says she “instantly just dropped to the ground and started crying” when her name was announced. With her mother standing right by her side, she found the strength to smile through the tears.
Her happiness was dampened briefly when she got home Saturday evening, though, and found some terrible comments on social media. She says she has been hurt terribly by such comments, explaining:
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.
Many people do not understand what it means to be a transgender person. People who are born this way feel that they are trapped in the wrong body and that they must transition to the correct gender in order to live a complete life. They often feel terribly uncomfortable in their biological body and this discomfort can lead to depression, anxiety and all too often, even suicide.
That’s why pediatricians often recommend that parents allow their children to express themselves according to the correct gender and not try to suppress or discourage such changes. Otherwise, they warn, parents run the risk of losing the child all together to suicide. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that a better standard of care must be found for treating these children, especially since a whopping 41% of transgender people “report lifetime suicide attempts.” It is crucial that the person who is transitioning have a strong network of support around them. Social media attacks such as those made on Campbell can be damaging and it is vital that the people around her give her extra support at this time.
The United States’ first homecoming queen has been attacked on social media after her crowning, but she has broken new ground and helped to raise awareness about the transgender community. She is just 16 years old and is luckily supported by loving friends and family. Here’s to hoping that she is able to ignore the naysayers and continue to be the trailblazing beauty she has come to be.
By: Rebecca Savastio