"They think that I'm just a boy doing this for fun, and I'm just a boy dressing up as a girl and trying to win a crown when that is completely the opposite of what it is," said Cassidy Lynn Campbell to ABC News. "I've always seen myself as a girl."
Campbell, 16, of Marina Beach High School in Huntington Beach, California, became the first transgender homecoming queen in her school’s history this weekend. While many have lauded her election by her peers as a sign of increasing acceptance of transgender rights, there remains backlash by those insisting that she is a man and should not have won.
She took to her Twitter account to respond to calls that she was only searching for attention or personal fame. “My goal isn’t to be famous, it's to open people's eyes to the world around them, to teach people to be open minded and to rethink social norms,” she wrote.
Campbell has also praised her school for being supportive of her. “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."
Campbell also has the support of her mother, who was by her side when her name was announced as the winner.
While she received cheers upon winning and later went out to dinner with friends, by the end of the night she had put up a tearful video on her YouTube channel, which she has used to document her transition since earlier in high school, to describe how people were being “ignorant” and “stupid” about her victory. “I don't know why they have to be this way, when I've done nothing to them,” she continued. “It just hurts so bad because I feel just as much of a girl as all of them do.”
"I am just as much of a human being as they are," she said. "The fact that these other people can say the things they say, and act the way they act, and think the way they think is just inhumane."
The high school senior said that she put her name in for homecoming queen in order to bring attention to the push for equality of transgender people. California is already ahead of most states in transgender rights since last August, when California Governor Jerry Brown signed the first law in US history that ensures transgender students equal access to the facilities and activities consistent with their gender identity.
Closer to home, the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition is trying to pass a similar law for the Bay State. As a Catholic university, it is unclear how BC would respond should such laws be passed.
Image via Favee Favila/Twitter.