A Spencer, N.Y.,
student was sent home from school last week for wearing
a T-shirt with a gay-friendly message.
16, said she was not trying to be inflammatory by
wearing the shirt, which read, "Gay? Fine by Me."
"I had worn it
two or three times before, and all of a sudden it's
inappropriate," Farnham said in a statement released
Wednesday. "[Principal Ann Sincock] said I was
advertising my sexual preference and that was
offensive, which makes no sense because I'm straight.
Maybe she herself was offended by it."
Farnham said in a
statement that her peers at Spencer-Van Etten High
School were supportive of the shirt's message. Even students
who didn't agree with her message said they were
disappointed she was sent home from school.
Farnham said she
purchased the T-shirt at a local secondhand store. The
shirt was originally part of a campaign waged by a group of
Duke University activists in 2003 who had 75,000 such
shirts created for distribution to other
colleges, schools, religious communities, businesses,
and civic organizations.
wore the shirt, several other students took up the
message, writing the words on their skin. School
administrators immediately patrolled the cafeteria,
ordering students to wash the ink off their arms and
Farnham said that
while there are some out LGBT students at her school,
there are several more debating whether to come out. Farnham
said that the shirt was her way of showing her support
for coming out of the closet.
"I know Spencer,"
she said. "If I were lesbian or gay, I wouldn't feel
safe coming out here. If more people wore the shirts, I
know it would be easier." (The Advocate)