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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Prom Dress Down

posted by on December 12 at 11:15 AM

A high school principal in Gary, Indiana, allowed a female student to attend prom wearing a tux. But when a male student—a male student that identifies as female, and wore female clothes to school for the past two years—showed up in a prom dress, the principal refused to let him in, physically blocking his entrance.

Lambda Legal is now suing the school on behalf of the student.

Two details: Kevin Logan’s classmates rallied to his defense, arguing with their principal and asking that she let Logan in, to no avail. So clearly it wasn’t Logan’s classmates that had a problem with his gender expression. To justify her actions the principal pointed to a school policy that forbids “clothing/accessories that advertise sexual orientation, sex, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, profanity, negative social or negative educational statements.” Says Lambda Legal staff attorney James P. Madigan:

“The fact that sexual orientation is lumped in with drugs and profanity in the school’s dress code is just plain offensive, but even more troublesome is that the whole policy is in violation of students’ First Amendment rights.”

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They have a "policy that forbids 'clothing/accessories that advertise sexual orientation'"?

So, you can't wear a rainbow tshirt. Unless of course you just love rainbows and aren't advertising your orientation, huh?

Posted by Mike in MO | December 12, 2007 11:22 AM

That school policy needs to be changed, because it is crap.

Posted by Greg | December 12, 2007 11:28 AM

Guess girls can't wear skirts, then, either.

Posted by Irena | December 12, 2007 11:29 AM

I will say without a moment of hesitation
There is just one place
That can light my face.

Posted by Jiberish | December 12, 2007 11:29 AM

Yayy, it warms my heart when groups defend trans rights. It's too rare. If I had money I'd write Lambda Legal a big fat check.

Posted by jamier | December 12, 2007 11:30 AM

Wow. Sounds like my high school back in Illinois... TEN YEARS AGO.

Posted by James | December 12, 2007 11:30 AM

Wow, as more or less a Gary native, and as horrible as this story is, it's kind of nice to see the city in the news for something other than its high homicide rate.

Posted by Ryno | December 12, 2007 11:31 AM

C-U-N-T !!!

Posted by Madge-YoursoakingINIT! | December 12, 2007 11:32 AM

I would have pissed on her leg.

Posted by Mr. Poe | December 12, 2007 11:33 AM

I thought we covered this already. Students don't have first amendment rights.

Posted by Judah | December 12, 2007 11:33 AM

Also, being openly trans or gay or whatever at West Side takes real courage. This dude's a hero.

Posted by Ryno | December 12, 2007 11:34 AM

BTW, the Savage Love page is a mess. Broken links, headings and bylines w/o stories etc.

Posted by chi type | December 12, 2007 11:35 AM

Well, not to mention that technically, gender expression has nothing to do with sexual orientation. Wearing a dress doesn't mean you're attracted to boys. As I well know. :)

Posted by meara | December 12, 2007 11:39 AM

well, if wearing a dress doesn't have anything to do with sexual orientation, then she should have been allowed in. if it does, then no dresses should be allowed.

Posted by infrequent | December 12, 2007 11:45 AM

So then I wouldn't be allowed to wear pants to school, because that advertises my sexual orientation as a straight male?

Posted by Al | December 12, 2007 11:46 AM

Al, you mean pants make you straight?... Oh, crap. My boyfriend wears those.

Posted by James | December 12, 2007 11:48 AM

AL @ 15,

Damn right! That's why I insist you take those pants off! Preferably in front of your princepal.

Posted by Y.F. | December 12, 2007 11:49 AM

True, meara. I kind of get the feeling the principal made up that policy just for that one student. What an evil person.

Here's the silver lining:

"Both classmates and teachers at the school supported him in his daily attendance dressed in clothes typically associated with girls his age."

Posted by Irena | December 12, 2007 11:50 AM

@16: Well, if (according to this wonderful guardian of our children) a dress advertises a boy as having a gay or transvestite orientation, then "normal" male dress must advertise "normal" male orientation. It's still the advertising of an orientation. What is not spoken is the illegal bit: "sexual orientation that is not accepted by the ones enforcing the rules."

Really it just proves that people are idiots. Except those that read SLOG. We rock.

Posted by Al | December 12, 2007 11:58 AM
Both classmates and teachers at the school supported him in his daily attendance dressed in clothes typically associated with girls his age.

That's a terrible thing to do to any kid. Have you seen what high school girls are wearing these days? I hope he wasn't walking around in those sweatpants that say 'juicy' on the ass.

I wouldn't let a high school girl wear clothes typically associated with high school girls these days.

Posted by Judah | December 12, 2007 11:59 AM

@1: Reminds me of this PBF strip:

And *that* reminds me of those unicorns with penises for horns. Oh, internet.

Posted by Gloria | December 12, 2007 12:15 PM

They can't "advertise sexual orientation" ??!! That makes no sense at all - ordinary, hetero clothing advertises hetero-ness. What that really means is they can't "advertise" anything but being straight. The rule sounds frightening enough as stated, but when one realizes that it's a queer-specific prohibition, it's chilling.

Posted by Kristen | December 12, 2007 12:51 PM

hey - why should this T get to do what she wants if the GLBs can't do what they want?

Doesn't she read the newspapers?? T was dropped from the LGB by the Democrats.

She has to wait. This is an incremental society after all.

Posted by patrick | December 12, 2007 1:15 PM

Judah's first comment is right on the money (Judy-ism rules on that score) students don't have first Amendment rights. They have no free speech rights. Bong hit for Gheezuz anyone?

Posted by Sargon Bighorn | December 12, 2007 1:22 PM

Ok, aside of the required outrage at the principal, it's pretty damn cool that the other kids were totally ok with this tran chick. That's a HUGE step forward (I graduated less than 10 years ago, and don't think my fellow students would have been accepting). Maybe this means that when later generations take over, we can stop all this bullshit.

Posted by Dianna | December 12, 2007 1:39 PM

Lots of luck. Students don't have many rights left.

Posted by Gitai | December 12, 2007 2:10 PM

The tranny should have beat the principal to death with her purse.

Posted by SDA in SEA | December 12, 2007 2:32 PM

I think it's pretty clear that a guy in a dress doesn't advertise sexual orientation.

Why? Here are two good reasons.

1) Gender identity is not the same as orientation.

2) Cross dressers are mostly heterosexual anyway.

Unless the kid wears a shirt saying "I engage in sex with people of my own gender", any advertisements about orientation are implicit anyway.

Posted by raphael | December 12, 2007 2:40 PM

What I really don't understand is why, since she had been wearing girl's clothing every day to school for the last two years, it was suddenly an issue to do that very same thing at the prom?

Posted by Molly | December 12, 2007 3:14 PM

I know a guy who wore a dress to the prom. What's the big fuckin' deal?

Posted by Greg | December 12, 2007 3:41 PM

I also wore a dress to my prom 15 years ago and no one seemed to have any problem with it (not counting they guy at the urinal next to me). Being that it was a public school in Eastern Washington I expected someone to say something, however not one word was uttered to me. It might have helped that I did attend with a female who was wearing a gender appropriate dress. Also, a touch off topic, but the prom queen that year was a lesbian.

Posted by db | December 12, 2007 3:55 PM

@29: Because proms celebrate man-on-woman love only. Girls must be pretty flowers, and boys must be gentlemen.

God, I hate proms.

Posted by Gloria | December 12, 2007 4:47 PM
Posted by Jason | December 12, 2007 6:23 PM

I'm not the biggest supporter of trans rights, but I agree with Molly. Why would prom be a big deal? This kid spent two whole years dressed that way. If that is fine, it just seems absurd that prom is somehow different.

To me, if anything, it seems like less of a deal. I am not making this argument, but if one wanted to argue that dressing in clothes of the opposite gender is disruptive, any disruption seems like it would be much more significant when kids are tying to learn as opposed to trying to dance and perform public foreplay.

Posted by Jim | December 13, 2007 12:48 AM

If she identifies as female, have the common courtesy to use female pronouns. I accept that the mainstream media is always going to be obsessed with the exact state of a person's genitals to determine pronouns, but I would have thought The Stranger would know better. It's just rude.

Posted by gfish | December 13, 2007 2:39 AM

The principal allowed the student to attend school dressed in girl's clothes for 2 years and never said anything to the student? That's a violation of the principals own school policy. I can smell a lawsuit coming on. And the principal would not have a leg to stand on. A lawyer would have a field day with this one and a principal just might be looking for a new job.

Posted by Joe | December 13, 2007 5:18 AM

jessica dresses prom

Posted by dresses prom designs | December 13, 2007 7:32 AM

jessica dresses prom

Posted by dresses prom designs | December 13, 2007 7:32 AM

How exactly does the dress code apply, anyways? It makes no mention of gender identity. Unless, of course, identifying as female is somehow a "negative social statement."

Posted by Sean | December 14, 2007 2:14 AM

When will this closed minded crap ever end!
America the free bullshit for who?

Posted by Leslie Crawford | December 14, 2007 2:39 PM

Its so horribly wrong. Woman can wear mens style clothing and nother ever be said about it but men wear girls clothing is wrong. I say let people wear what they want to wear be identified as what they want to be identified as. Im so tired of the Freedom for all... unless your different attitude.

Well i should stop here or im going to rant.... *bites her tongue hard enough that it bleeds*

Posted by Jennifer | December 19, 2007 5:03 AM

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