Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Tuxedo Injunction

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Tuxedo Injunction

Article excerpt

My mom always taught me to be honest, especially with myself. So by my junior year at Fleming Island High School in Clay County, Fla., I told my family and friends that I am a lesbian. My mom was torn at first but soon became my champion.

Last September she and I went to have my senior picture taken. My senior class was told, without gender being specified, that we must wear either a drape or a tuxedo for our senior picture. After watching the girl in front of me have her picture taken in a drape, I decided I would be more comfortable in a tuxedo.

I thought I had a choice, but I was wrong.

Our school principal, Sam Ward, said my picture was not "uniform" or "traditional," so it would not be allowed. Hoping Clay County superintendent David Owens wouldn't be as narrow-minded, my mom asked him to intervene. But he backed Ward's decision, saying, "Girls wear drapes; boys wear tuxes."

I was blown away that they could be so unfair, so I decided to go public. …

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