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Australian school orders lesbian to remove pro gay t-shirt

Danny McCoy February 20, 2006
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School officials at a high-school in Melbourne have caused a stir by asking a student to remove a t-shirt with a gay slogan.

More than 30 students at Strathmore Secondary College rallied behind a 17-year-old senior named Stephanie after teachers at the school told her to change out of the t-shirt for class pictures.

Stephanie, who requested that her last name not be published, said she had worn the t-shirt with the slogan “Nobody knows I’m a lesbian” printed across the front to school on several occasions without concerns being raised by staff or fellow students.

“I’ve had it for ages,” she told reporters.

But Stephanie said things changed on school picture day when she was quickly asked to remove the shirt by faculty members.

“They said it was because certain parents would complain,” Stephanie said.

Her mother, Susan, said she had had the shirt printed for her daughter when she was about 15 years old. Susan said her daughter has always been brave enough to wear the t-shirt in public and particularly at school.

“I’m proud of her,” she said. “I love her and I don’t care what she is.”

Stephanie said she understood the concerns by school officials but she was disappointed by the school’s request to remove the t-shirt. She said she would wear the t-shirt to school again when things had calmed down.

A number of other seniors showed their support for Stephanie by wearing t-shirts to school the following day with similar slogans. They included “Nobody knows I am bulimic,” “Nobody knows I’m pregnant” and “Nobody knows I’m on steroids.”

Stephanie said she was shocked by the amount of support she had received.

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