Another Mississippi lesbian high school student is suing her school for taking away part of her senior year:
The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Mississippi today filed a lawsuit against a Mississippi high school that excluded a female student's name and senior portrait from the yearbook rather than publish a photo of her in a tuxedo. The lawsuit charges that Ceara Sturgis was unfairly discriminated against by the Wesson Attendance Center based on her sex and unfair gender stereotypes.
"I went to school with my classmates my whole life, and it hurts that I'm not included in my senior yearbook as part of my graduating class," Ceara said. "I never thought that my school would punish me just for being who I am."
She didn't want to wear the women's drape, so the school erased her from the senior part of the yearbook, not even putting her in as "unpictured."
Ceara explains why she didn't wear it:
Ceara was an honor student and a member of several sports teams at Wesson, where she attended school from kindergarten through her senior year. At home and at school, she dresses in clothing that is traditionally associated with boys, and had previously not encountered any problems from her peers or teachers. When she had her formal senior portrait taken, she opted to wear a tuxedo, rather than a drape that gives the appearance of wearing a dress or a blouse. Because of her attire, the school refused to publish her photo and name as part of the senior year class.[...]
Ceara tried posing with the drape, but felt extremely uncomfortable and had her mother request that she wear the tuxedo instead. The photographer permitted Ceara to do so. It was only after the portrait was taken that the principal informed Ceara that he would not allow the photo to be published. Despite efforts to resolve the issue by Ceara's mother and the ACLU, Ceara received her yearbook without her portrait, or even her name, included in the senior class portrait section.
I don't remember girls in my high school having to wear anything special in senior photos or boys having to have tuxes instead of just ties (it was Indiana, so...). I'd hazard a guess that the dress code serves absolutely no purpose but has been around for a long time so she's going up against a vague conception of tradition, which isn't always meaningful when an authoritative body is forcing it on people.
In related news, Americans know this is a problem:
Among all American adults, 63% agree that the U.S. still has a long way to go to reach complete gender quality. While three-quarters of women (74%) agree with this, so do just over half of men (52%). By comparison, when this question is posed to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) adults, 73% say the U.S. still has a long way to go, including 95% of lesbians (an especially notable finding when compared with 74% of heterosexual females.)
It's not at all surprising that lesbians are more acutely aware of sexism than others.