Wednesday, November 13, 2013

This Yearbook Picture Violates "Community Standards" In Texas. Why?

It is becoming clearer that the next frontier for LGBT equality is in the area of public accommodations for transgender people. This story about Jeydon Loredo caught my eye. The school board of La Feria High School in La Feria, Texas is refusing to allow Jeydon to appear in his yearbook picture wearing a tuxedo, saying that it offends "community standards."
A major milestone in life would be summed up in one image: Jeydon in a crisp tuxedo with his hair neatly combed. As time passes, this may be the only image his classmates have to remember him by.
That’s why Jeydon, a transgender student, was upset to learn from the school district’s superintendent that his photo would not appear in the yearbook because it supposedly violated “community standards.” Jeydon, while he grew up female, is now a young man. He is transgender, meaning that his gender identity is different from what he was assigned at birth.  District Superintendent Rey Villarreal told his mother that Jeydon’s photograph would be included only if he wore stereotypically feminine attire, such as a drape or blouse.
“I’ve lived here my whole life, and I’ve grown up with the kids here,” Jeydon said. “I’ve seen those in my community go through troubles, and denying my tuxedo photo would be a way for the district to forget me and everything I’ve brought to this community. The yearbook is for the students, not the faculty or the administration. It is a way for us to remember each other.”
The Human Rights Campaign and the Southern Poverty Law Center are fighting for Jeydon's right to appear in the senior yearbook picture that his family paid for and have sent the La Feria School Board a strongly worded letter explaining why the school board's (in)action is discriminatory.

HRC and SPLC are encouraging people to contact the school board.

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