STORY HIGHLIGHTS:(CNN) -- Walking into school Wednesday morning was not easy for Constance McMillen. The last time she'd been there was March 11, the day after her Fulton, Mississippi, high school canceled prom rather than allow her to wear a tuxedo and attend with her girlfriend.
She didn't assume last week's spring break would cool things down. She expected stares, dirty looks and cold shoulders, and passing through the doors was daunting. Over these last two weeks, she said, she's had a hard time sleeping, can barely eat, feels anxious and -- until she saw a doctor for help -- often felt like she was "going to throw up."
"I've been very nervous about all of this," the 18-year-old Itawamba Agricultural High School senior said. "I don't like being somewhere where everyone hates me."
McMillen's name made national headlines when she, with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, filed suit against her school and the Itawamba County School District, asking them to reinstate prom for everyone, without discrimination. A federal judge in Mississippi ruled Tuesday that while he wouldn't force the school to have a prom, which had originally been scheduled for April 2, he agreed that McMillen's First Amendment rights had been violated.
That was good news, said her attorney, Christine Sun, senior counsel with the ACLU's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender project. It set a precedent and helped broadcast an important statement, which was made stronger by virtue of where it came from, she said.
"We're in a conservative area of the country, where people tend to think we can do what we like," said Sun, who lives in New York but has traveled multiple times to Mississippi for this legal push. "This case sends a strong message that that's not going to fly anymore."
The only pending issue, Sun said, is the question of damages and the ACLU's request for attorneys' fees. An amended complaint to seek a quick resolution on this should be filed in the next 30 days, she said.
Meantime, McMillen is trying to find her new normal
In many ways, she stands in an awkward balance. Though there are some people who support her in Fulton (population about 4,000), the overarching tension and what she described as "hostility" that she feels at school and in her community is in deep contrast to the reception and groundswell of support that's overwhelmed her nationally.
As a poster child for the rights of LGBT students, she's been asked to jump on airplanes to appear on news programs and talk shows. The Facebook fan page "Let Constance Take Her Girlfriend to Prom!" had attracted more than 414,000 fans as of Friday morning. Wealthy individuals, including Ellen DeGeneres, have offered to pay for a prom for her school. She's received a $30,000 college scholarship from an anonymous donor and Tonic.com, a digital media company in New York that's also offered her a summer internship. She's even been invited to high school proms in cities she's never visited.
Constance McMillen in news after school cancels prom; she wanted to bring girlfriend
Support nationally shows in TV visits, prom offers, Facebook fans and scholarship
At home, Mississippi high school senior deals with tensions, anxiety, "hostility"
Her and ACLU's fight inspires others, making her poster child for LGBT student activism
Gay teen in prom case feels ostracized locally, celebrated nationally - CNN.com