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Sunday
Sep222013

Transgender Teen Named Homecoming Queen Faces Backlash

Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images(HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif.) -- The first transgender teen at a Huntington Beach, Calif., high school to be named homecoming queen broke down crying in a YouTube video after what was supposed to be her "happiest day" was marred by criticism, she said.

In a video posted on her YouTube account Saturday, Cassidy Lynn Campbell said that earning the title of homecoming queen was supposed to be "so monumental and memorable." But the "ignorant" and "negative" backlash that followed her win had turned a bright day dark.

"I'm always judged and I'm always looked down upon and I'm always made fun of," she said. "Sometimes, I wonder, is it even worth it?"

Campbell, who uses YouTube to post videos of her daily transformation, spoke candidly to her followers because she didn't know how else to vent, according to the video's description.

She said she was hurt by the behavior of people criticizing her who she said treated her like she was less than a person.

Sobbing uncontrollably, she said she was no different from the other girls in her school.

"It just hurts so bad because I feel just as much of a girl as all of them do," she said.

"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 16-year-old, who up until three years ago lived as Lance Campbell, said her decision to live life as a girl was a difficult decision to make.

"This is how I've always been and this is how I've always felt. It's not a choice," she said. "This is something I've wanted for so long."

Campbell was crowned homecoming queen in front of a camera crew and a crowd of students, family and football players on her high school's football field on Friday. She ran for "so many others around the nation," she told ABC Los Angeles station KABC-TV.

As the school's first transgender student nominated to the court, Campbell experienced some backlash after it was announced she would be in the top 10 contenders.

"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," she said. "I've always seen myself as a girl."

But Campbell defended her decision to run on her Twitter account.

"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 is not the first trans student in the country to win a homecoming title. Earlier this year, Katie Couric's talk show featured a 19-year-old transgender teen named Devon who won the title of Junior Homecoming Princess at her high school where her peers were unaware she was biologically male.

Last month, California Gov. Jerry Brown put transgender issues for minors in the spotlight after he signed a bill granting all public school students the right to "participate in sex-segregated programs, activities and facilities" that correspond with their gender identity.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio