A male student who was suspended for wearing nail polish has addressed his school’s ‘discriminatory, sexist’ policy in a powerful speech.
Trevor Wilkinson, an openly gay senior at Clyde High School in Texas, faced in-school suspension due to wearing nail polish like his female peers. However, the school’s rules prohibit males from wearing any form of makeup.
The 17-year-old refused to comply, and his story attracted worldwide news attention and the support of LGBTQ+ organisations, such as the Abilene Pride Alliance. A petition to change the rules has amassed more than 364,000 signatures, and now he’s spoke to the school board directly following the response to his mission.
Check out a clip of Trevor’s speech below:
At the start of his speech – which has been shared by thousands online, including Star Trek‘s George Takei – Trevor actually apologises for the ‘hate and disrespect’ that’s been aimed at the school in recent weeks.
He then goes on to explain what happened, saying, ‘I got my education taken away from me, for something as minor as painting my nails because it’s against the dress code. The question I pose is… why?’
He continues, ‘Why is it against the dress code for a man to be comfortable with his masculinity and defy the gender norms society has imposed on us? Why is it harmful for me to wear nail polish if it’s not harmful for girls to wear it? Why is it harmful for males?’
Trevor later says, ‘It’s not too late to be on the right side of history and I dare ask you guys to join. I understand that you guys have traditional values and I respect that, but to get respect you also have to give it. America is progressing, we’re staying up-to-date with trends, we’re modernising as a whole and nothing will stop that.’
He adds, ‘We’re all supposed to be equal, not having our freedom of expression suppressed, not having our voices not heard because grown-ups are taking three steps back instead of forward. Diversity is what makes this country so beautiful.’
However, as per KTXS, Clyde Independent School District Superintendent Kerry Berry said students are still expected to ‘abide by established rules of conduct’ while a ‘thorough review’ of its dress code takes place. She added, ‘Until that time, the district will assure that no student is treated in a discriminatory or inequitable manner.’
On Trevor’s petition, he wrote, ‘This is unjust and not okay. Help me show that it is okay to express yourself and that the identity that society wants to normalise is not okay. I am a human. I am valid. I should not get in trouble for having my nails done.’
If you’d like to support Trevor’s cause, you can sign the petition here.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 10am–6pm Monday to Friday, or email [email protected]
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read