A trans student in Texas has now been allowed to wear a tuxedo for his yearbook portrait after a federal lawsuit convinced the school to live up to its own non-discrimination policy.
After both a federal lawsuit and an online petition, La Feria high school reversed its decision demanding student Jeydon Laredo to wear a blouse or a drape if his portrait was to appear in the year book.
Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) attorneys met with attorneys from the school district on Friday to come to a formal agreement.
SPLC attorney Alesdair Ittelson said: “We are very pleased that the school district has recognized Jeydon for who he is and will allow his photo in the yearbook along with all his classmates.
“This is as a signal to other school districts that transgender students should be recognized as important members of their communities rather than ostracised and subjected to discrimination. We applaud Jeydon’s courage in standing up for his rights.”
Attorneys for the school district provided written confirmation that Jeydon’s tuxedo will now appear in the yearbook.
La Feria also agreed to include gender expression as a protected category in its non-discrimination policy, which previously prohibited discrimination “based on the student’s gender, the student’s expression of characteristics perceived as stereotypical for the student’s gender, or the student’s failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity.”
Mr Laredo said: “Ten or 20 years from now, I may not be friends with all the people I’m friends with now, and if my picture isn’t in the yearbook, I’m afraid they won’t remember me.
“I want them to remember me, but also remember me as I really am.”