On Friday night, transgender teen Cassidy Lynn Campbell was crowned homecoming queen at a California high school.
Campbell, a 16-year-old student at Marina High School in Huntington Beach, was shocked when blue and gold balloons revealed she had won the crown on Sept. 20, according to KTLA. "I instantly just dropped to the ground and started crying," she said.
She is the first transgender homecoming queen at Marina High School and hopes that her win echoes outside her town.
"I realized it wasn’t for me anymore and I was doing this for so many people all around the county and the state and possibly the world and I am so proud to win this not just for me, but everyone out there,” she told KTLA.
Campbell began taking hormone blockers and estrogen injections in high school to transition, according to the Los Angeles Times, and has documented her journey in videos on her YouTube channel, LanceMize. She decided to run for homecoming queen this year to make a statement.
"If I win it would mean that the school recognizes me as the gender I always felt I was," she told the L.A. Times earlier this month. "But with all the attention, I realized it's bigger than me. I'm doing this for the kids who can't be themselves."
The teen's mother said it's "wonderful" her daughter won, telling KABC, "I never would have thought in my lifetime that I would see this."
Despite the honor, Campbell was apparently upset by the end of the night. She uploaded a tearful video to her YouTube account saying that people were being "ignorant" and "stupid" about her crowning.
"After 16 years of struggling, I finally do it and I finally am myself -- thinking I'll be so happy," she said. "It's just sad that everyone has to be so judgmental about it, and so hateful, and so mean and so negative. I've never done anything to any of these people. And I don't know why they have to be this way, when I've done nothing to them. It just hurts so bad because I feel just as much of a girl as all of them do... Everyone is just so ignorant."
Campbell is not the first transgender girl to be named homecoming queen of an educational institution. In 2009, Jessee Vasold received the title at William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va. She is, however, Orange County's first.