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Transgender homecoming queen crowned in Orange County (+video)

Transgender homecoming queen was crowned Friday night at an Orange County high school. But the crowning of a transgender homecoming queen comes as conservative groups work to repeal California's new transgender rights law.

By Staff and Lisa LeffAssociated Press / September 21, 2013


Huntington Beach and San Francisco, Calif.

Orange County has crowned its first transgender homecoming queen.

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The Orange County Register reports that 16-year-old Cassidy Lynn Campbell made history in the traditionally conservative county Friday night.

Upon receiving her crown, Cassidy became the Marina High School's 50th homecoming queen and one of few transgendered teens nationwide to receive such a title.

It also marked a lengthy road traveled toward acceptance by her peers and her self.

Cassidy, previously known as Lance, said she knew she was a girl from a young age. She'd gravitated toward Barbie dolls, lipstick and dresses and was excluded by male classmates for years because of it.

In middle school Cassidy told classmates she was gay to try to blend in. It wasn't until her sophomore year that she publicly dressed as a girl — on Halloween.

This year, as a senior, she came to school as herself. The school's staff encouraged her and she received mostly positive responses from students.

On Friday, her classmates chanted her name as she walked over to accept her prize in a green and pale pink gown.

"I'm speechless. I can't even believe this," Cassidy said. "I'm so proud of my school, my administration and the student body for making this happen."

Cassidy said she wants to become more involved in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. And she hopes her victory inspires other teens struggling with their identities.

The crowning of Cassidy comes shortly after a new law was passed in California allowing transgender students to choose which school restrooms they use and whether to play boys or girls sports.

An effort to overturn the new law got a boost Friday when a major player in the passage of California's now-defunct same-sex marriage ban threw its support behind the campaign.

The National Organization for Marriage announced it was working with another conservative group, the Capitol Resource Institute, to repeal the law at the ballot box. The marriage group provided early fundraising and organizing for the 2008 ballot initiative that outlawed same-sex marriages, known as Proposition 8.

Opponents of the transgender student law have until Nov. 8 to gather the signatures of 504,760 registered voters to place a referendum on the November 2014 ballot that would nullify the statute.

The National Organization for Marriage is encouraging its members to help circulate petitions and to give money that could be used to hire professional signature-gatherers.

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