Sixteen-year-old Cassidy Lynn Campbell is a trailblazing California teenager who made history last week when her classmates in Huntington Beach, California selected her as homecoming queen. At the time, the Marina High School student cried tears of joy, later telling NBC Los Angeles, "I'm so proud to win this not just for me but for everyone out there and for every kid -- transgender, gay, straight, black, white, Mexican, Asian. It doesn't matter, you can be yourself."
Campbell is one of the first trans homecoming queens in the country.
But in an absolutely heart-wrenching video posted to YouTube this weekend, those happy tears turned to tears of sadness because of all the backlash she's received in the form of hateful online bullying. When Cassidy uploaded the video, she wrote:
I am usually a very strong and confident person, but I have my moments too. Although there was a lot of positive feedback, there was a lot of negative too, and the negative affected me more than it ever has before. I recorded this because I didn't know how else to vent, I didn't want to talk to anybody.
In the almost nine-minute video, Cassidy -- wearing her homecoming queen tiara and sash -- sobs as she recounts how vicious, ugly attacks from cowardly online bullies are robbing her of what should be one of the happiest moments of her young life. At one point she says through her tears, "Sometimes I wonder, is it even worth it? And [I wonder] if I should just go back to being miserable, and just be a boy -- and hate myself, and hate my life, just so everyone could just shut up and leave me alone."
Cassidy's video -- along with a way you can send a message of love and encouragement to this heroic teen -- is after the jump. Be warned, though, that the video is incredibly difficult to watch. I could only handle a minute or two at a time, and even those small doses weren't enough to keep me from bursting into tears at the sight of this brave young woman in so much pain.