Target: Cassidy Lynn Campbell
Goal: Applaud this high school senior for envisioning a new tradition among American high schools – one of equity and respect
Anticipating others’ failure to take her seriously, Cassidy Lynn Campbell first wrote off the idea of running for homecoming queen herself. Eventually she realized that doing so would not only allow her to stay true to herself, but would also enable her to inspire other young people struggling with their own gender expression.
Cassidy always felt she was a girl, according to a feature article in the Los Angeles Times. She recalls the confusion she felt when her mother would cut her hair short and make her wear male clothing when she wanted to wear dresses and skirts. Briefly identifying as transgender in middle school, Campbell noticed the term confused her peers and distanced her from them, so she told people she was gay. She eventually began dressing in women’s clothes, which helped in some circumstances, but it wasn’t until she watched YouTube videos made by transgender women that she envisioned a new option for herself.
Garnering the support of her parents and her school, Campbell maintained a strong social media campaign to help her bid for the title. She joins a “growing, but still-thin number” of transgender teens throughout the country who see an opportunity to update a characteristically heteronormative American tradition.
The senior began her last year at Marina High School in Huntington Beach, California, for the first time as Cassidy Lynn Campbell. Running for homecoming queen represents an extension of her true self. Winning, Campbell says, “would mean that the school recognizes me as the gender I always felt I was.”
At the homecoming football game, Campbell was crowned homecoming queen in what she names a “huge step for the transgender community.” Let’s congratulate Cassidy on her monumental achievement and applaud her for standing up for her self-expression, being a leader to all those struggling to express themselves.
I want to commend you for enacting a new homecoming tradition – one of equity and respect. I also want to congratulate you on being crowned homecoming queen. Bravely standing up for people’s rights to gender expression everywhere, you are truly an inspiration. You represent hope for all those who struggle to express themselves and face serious persecution for doing so.
Confronting the ugliness of intolerance, hatred, and violence, you offer a firm but peaceful statement that beauty is accepting oneself and others for their true selves. I hope that your story encourages the greater self-love and respect we need for a brighter, more beautiful future.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Jess Volinsky via Flickr