A gay teenager in Texas has successfully lobbied to change his school’s dress code to allow for gender neutrality after he was suspended for wearing nail polish.
Trevor Wilkinson, a student at Clyde High School in Clyde, Tex., is a self-proclaimed “gay man and beyond proud.” Wilkinson was suspended last November for violating the school’s dress code, which only permitted females to wear polish on their nails.
While he was serving in-school suspension (ISS), Wilkinson decided to start a petition urging his school district to update its dress code and remove such gendered language. The petition eventually garnered more than 400,000 supporters.
“I was told that I will continue to get ISS until I take (the nail polish) off,” Wilkinson said. “It’s a complete double standard because girls are allowed to paint and get their nails done… This is unjust and not okay. Help me show that it is okay to express yourself and that the identity that society wants to normalize is not okay.”
Last week, the school district’s committee ruled in favor of Wilkinson’s petition, voting unanimously to enact a new dress code that replaces references to “boys” and “girls” with the word “students.”
After the district voted to drop all gendered references in its dress code policy, Wilkinson said he was “at a loss of words.”
“It is with great honor that I am pleased to announce that Clyde High School’s dress code is officially gender-neutral forever,” Wilkinson told local ABC affiliate KTXS. “I’m at a loss of words for the joy I am feeling on this special day. I am so blessed by the support, love, and help I have received through this experience.”