A high school in California has voted their first ever trangender student as their homecoming queen! Cassidy Lynn Campbell was born male but identifies as female, and the 16-year-old's classmates are so OK with it that she won the popular vote for queen at Marina High School in Huntington Beach over the weekend. Let's hear it for a new generation of kids with open minds and open hearts!
And, while we're celebrating, can we talk about the mother of this high schooler for a second? Cassidy's mom deserves a big hug and a pat on the back.
She knew what her daughter was up against, and she backs her 100 percent. As Christine Campbell, told Reuters:
I never thought that in my lifetime I'd experience an event like this, and especially for the event to be my girl. It's been difficult, amazing, and emotional all at the same time. I'm so proud of her and not just because she's my daughter -- she could be anybody's daughter today. I look at a lot of things differently now.
I think we're all looking at things differently now. We look at our kids and see so much promise, but we have fears too. Bullying is nothing new, but it's certainly all the more prominent in the news.
Sending any kid off to school, you worry that they will be victimized.
Now imagine sending your transgender teen off to school.
Imagine your transgender teen breaks ground as the first at her school. Then, on top of it, she asks if she can run for homecoming, bringing even MORE attention to herself, risking even more hurt in a society that's still woefully behind in its understanding of gender identity.
What would you do?
Would you follow in Christine Campbell's footsteps and say, "Sure, kid, go for it. Mom has got your back!"
You want to support your kids' dreams, but it's not easy parenting a trailblazer. They're dodging bullets, right and left, and all you want to do is throw a blanket over their head and herd them off to the car, take them home, and put them in bed with a bowl of chicken noodle soup and a hot cup of tea.
But what does that teach a kid? To give up?
It may be the easy route, but it's not the one that will help your kid in the long run.
Cassidy has gotten a lot of flak, even with her classmates' obvious backing. She uploaded a heartbreaking video to YouTube over the weekend, still clad in her sash and tiara, crying at the incessant bullying:
But she's been raised well, has a good head on her shoulders, something made all the more obvious by a statement on her Twitter account:
my goal isnt to be famous, its to open peoples eyes to the world around them, to teach people to be open minded and to rethink social norms— Cassidy Lynn (@xocassidylynn) September 11, 2013
Bravo, kid. Bravo.
That comment? That's why you let your kid be the trailblazer.
What would you do if Cassidy were your kid? Would you be willing to risk the bullies so your kid could make a difference?
Image via jennifer donley/Flickr