“I'm so proud to win this, not just for me, but for everyone out there and for every kid — transgender, gay, straight, black, white, Mexican, Asian. It doesn't matter, you can be yourself,” says Cassidy Lynn Campbell, a transgender teen who was crowned homecoming queen at her Orange County high school Sept 20.
According to an NBC Los Angeles report, Campbell, 16, who had been sharing her transition with thousands of YouTube subscribers in personal and fun videos, won the title in front of her family, fellow students, the school's football players and a camera crew on the Marina High School football field.
Still, her win met with some backlash on social media, ABC News reports.
"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. I've always seen myself as a girl," Campbell says.
She defended her decision to run, saying her goal in doing so isn't to be famous, but to "open people's eyes to the world around them."
Campbell expressed the hope that her win would make her critics rethink their stance.
“If it can just make them look a little bit differently at myself, or anyone else in this world, and judge just a little less harshly, then it was all worth it,” she says.
The NBC report notes that the school’s principal is proud that Marina High is sending “a message of acceptance, tolerance and respect.”