Monday, March 16, 2009

GSA Monday Topic: Should a non-girly Girl be allowed to wear a TUXEDO to prom? A Lesbian in Indiana SUES her school for that right

So this 17 year old girl, a lesbian, was told by her school that she couldn't wear a tuxedo to her prom, and that if she wanted to attend, she'd have to wear a dress.

She told them she's a lesbian and that she

does not wear dresses because she thinks they express a sexual identity that she does not embrace

Her ACLU lawyer says

"From a First Amendment standpoint, wearing a tuxedo makes an affirmative statement about her own sexuality," Falk said. "Students have free-speech rights."

The school says

her only option for the prom was to wear a dress and that only boys could wear tuxedos

The prom at her school is April 25.

Here's the link to the full article: Girl sues Lebanon Schools for right to wear tuxedo to prom

I'll try to find out what happens and let you all know -

For now, it's a great point of discussion.

Should she be allowed to wear a tux to prom? What do you think?


Anonymous said...

This is absurd to me. It seems to me that people ought to be able to wear anything to prom, so long as it does not violate the school dress code. I can't even imagine a school where I live objecting to a girl wearing a tux to prom.

(If the school dress code mandates skirts for girls and it's a public school, that's a whole separate problem.)

Anonymous said...

I'm with Kimberly on the dress code issue; the school's stance is ridiculous, offensive, and antiquated. It shouldn't matter what the student's sexual or gender identity is -- though of course there seems to be some combination of homophobia/sexism underlying the school's stance. A tux is legit formal wear, end of story.

Anonymous said...

Funny, when a straight girl wore a tux to prom at my school 20-odd years ago there were whispers, but no one tried to stop her. (I also seem to recall that some people "felt sorry" for her date. If he minded, it didn't show.)

Lebanon needs to lighten up.

fairyhedgehog said...

I think she should be able to wear a tuxedo. That's a dinner jacket, right? And she should be able to wear trousers and flat shoes and be comfortable.

I also think that any boys who want to wear dresses and high heels should be allowed to.

For goodness sake! People are varied and different and should be allowed to express those differences. It's not like she wants to carry a gun into school...

Angie said...

Formal wear is formal wear and I don't see why it should be an issue. I think (hope!) the school is setting it self up for an ass-kicking, and a well-deserved one, too.

From a strategic POV, though, I think she was foolish to tell them ahead of time what she planned to wear. She should've just shown up in her tux on the night of and walked in. Don't give Bigots In Charge the time to ponder and think up a l/a/m/e/ good excuse; stare them in the eye with a fait accompli.


Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Great comments, everyone!

Kimberly, the school in question does NOT have such a dress code usually. Girls wear pants to that school all the time.

Angie, I hear what you're saying, but I'd be concerned that showing up in a tux as a surprise would make the whole prom evening super stressful - would they let her in, would they turn her away, would it be humiliating... and it might rob her of a "real" prom experience. By dealing with all this ahead of time, hopefully the school will be forced to let her wear what she chooses (a tux) and she can focus on being a teenager going to her high school prom - rather than being all stressed out. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for her...

Angie said...

Lee -- I guess it's a matter of approach. And yeah, I can see a seventeen-year-old having a hard time with the stress, or with standing her ground if someone guarding the door started babbling. :/ I'm looking at it from the POV of it being easier to apologize afterward than get permission beforehand. [wry smile]


Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

I definitely get your point. Why empower the jerks?
But I don't know if at 17 I would have been that brave...

Anonymous said...

My ex, a transgendered man, had to HIRE A LAWYER to be allowed to do his high school graduation wearing a suit. It worked, though. I'll cross my fingers for this girl!

Unknown said...

Formal dress codes for events like these actually do help insure the students behave well at the Prom. (I'm not saying this works completely, but in my experience it does help. I worked at a very rough school for several years in the 1980's.) That said, I don't see what they should have to wear formal wear that goes with their gender.

I be those in charge are thinking that they will have to let a boy wear a dress down the road if they let a girl wear a tuxedo, and they will, and they should.

It's amazing how nuts people get over proms. These are virtually adults we're talking about, 17 and 18, sometimes 19 year-old-students all of them old enough to join the army, with parent permission. But not old enough to witness a woman dressed in a tux????

CJ Omololu said...

What year is this? Can't believe this issue is still being discussed - ridiculous.

Sarah Laurenson said...

I'm speechless. OK, not really. But most of what's running through my head are words that I don't throw out into the blogosphere.

Are you kidding me?!?!

I'm so glad I never even thought about going to my prom. They probably had the same stupid idea of what you could wear and I was not in a place where I could buck the system. A tux would have been so nice and comfy and a heck of a lot easier to dance in - and I as dating a boy at the time. This was before I realized what gay meant.

I wish her the best of luck!