In an historic win Friday night, transgender teen Cassidy Lynn Campbell was crowned homecoming queen at Marina High School in Huntington Beach, California. She broke down crying when her victory was announced, telling reporters afterward that she thinks the achievement “really shows the progression of the times.”
Unfortunately, it was a short honeymoon for Cassidy, who faced a swift backlash of transphobia from across the Internet. In a tear-filled video posted on YouTube, she candidly reacted to the negative feedback, wondering why people can’t be happy for her without looking down upon her:
CAMPBELL: Sometimes I wonder, is it even worth it — if I should just go back to being miserable, and just be a boy and hate myself and hate my life just so everyone can just shut up and leave me alone. And I know I asked for this, I know I did. I know I wanted to run and I wanted to be nominated, but it’s just so upsetting…
Because of my situation, I am just so hated on, just so judged. And I’ve had to deal with this my whole life, so I should know better by now, but I just wished for one day, for one day I could just be happy and have everyone be happy for me, and it’s never going to happen… I just don’t understand it.
She goes on to explain how she’s always felt like a girl and talks about her transition. Watch it:
Even this video has its own share of negative comments, with respondents asserting that they know more about Cassidy’s gender than she does.
Though transgender individuals have found employment protections under Title VII, they continue to endure rampant discrimination throughout society, including in education, employment, public accommodations, and health care. A new law that will protect transgender students in California like Cassidy is facing a referendum campaign from conservative groups eager to spread misinformation about what they call “gender confusion.”
Cassidy Lynn Campbell’s victory is a milestone and she will no doubt be a role model for transgender teens across the country, but it is also an unfortunate reminder of how much work there is to be done to erase transphobia. Watch her accept her crown: