By Michelle Garcia
Originally published on Advocate.com November 13 2013 6:15 PM ET
A male transgender high school student says administrators at his Texas school told him that he could not appear in his senior yearbook wearing a tuxedo.
The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Human Rights Campaign are coming to the aid of Jeydon Loredo by sending a letter to La Feria High School administrators and school district officials. The photography studio that took Loredo's senior picture was told to withhold it once school administrators learned that he took it in a tuxedo, Loredo says. After the family lodged a complaint with the district, the superintendent reportedly said the photo would offend the town's "community standards."
Loredo appealed to the school board.
“Please allow my community to remember me," he said, "and to remember me the way I truly am, in the clothes that reflect me: Jeydon Laredo."
The board met in a closed session over the matter and has yet to make a public statement about the decision on the yearbook photo.
“I’ve lived here my whole life, and I’ve grown up with the kids here,” Loredo said in a statement Wednesday. “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.”
Loredo's mother, Stella Loredo, said that after growing up in the school district, now allowing her son to appear in the yearbook wearing a tuxedo would be "a slap in the face to me, to him, and to a community that should respect all students."