After years of feeling like she didn’t fit in with her peers, transgender student Cassidy Lynn Campbell became her high school’s homecoming queen Friday night - possibly one of the first in the country to do so.
The students at Marina High School in Huntington Beach, Calif. cheered two weeks ago when Cassidy was announced as one of five finalists at the homecoming pep rally.
Then Cassidy, 16, who told reporters that she always felt like a girl, was crowned during halftime of Friday night’s football game.
"Knowing that it was only my school and only my student body makes it even more special because they voted for me," Cassidy told a local TV station. "They all wanted me, and the majority wanted me to win.
"Whether I won tonight or not, I was a winner from the beginning and I knew it. I put my message out there.
“If this can help one child or more or hundreds or thousands or millions, then it was more than worth it.”
Cassidy, born a boy named Lance, had already become somewhat of a celebrity online. YouTube videos explaining her transformation from male to female had racked up more than 2 million views.
Before she was crowned, principal Paul Morrow said that if his school was “to make high-profile news during its homecoming week this year, then we are proud that the message is one of equity and individual respect.”
Cassidy spoke to reporters after her crowning, saying: “I was so proud to win, not just for me but for everyone out there. I think it really shows the progression of the times.”