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As School Relents, Louisiana Lesbian Receives Custom Tuxedo for Prom

As School Relents, Louisiana Lesbian Receives Custom Tuxedo for Prom


Claudetteia Love earned recognition for speaking out about her school's discriminatory policy -- and now she'll be dancing in style with a custom-made suit from LGBT clothiers.

There's a heartwarming update to the story of the lesbian high school student in Monroe, La., whose principal told her she couldn't wear a tuxedo to the prom. Not only has the school backed down, allowing Claudetteia Love to dress as she likes, but several companies have stepped up to donate her outfit.

Love's troubles began when school officials told her that the dress code prevented girls from wearing tuxedos. The story gained national attention, and representatives from the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union reached out to the school to correct the policy.

"For several years, this office has sent letters reminding school officials that students may not be denied the right to attend school dances simply because they choose to dress in a manner that officials deem appropriate only for students of another sex, or because they choose to bring a date of the same sex as themselves," ACLU of Louisiana executive director Marjorie Esman wrote April 6 in a letter sent to all school superintendents in Louisiana.

The school was also reportedly contacted by the Justice Department over the incident.

Now Love will attend her prom decked out in a Nik Kacy shoes and a tuxedo from Sharpe Suiting. That's thanks to some behind-the-scenes organizing by supportive fashion industry leaders, including Kayce Brown, who helped launch gender-neutral clothing company Greyscale Goods. The Advocate profiled Brown and the company earlier this year.

Love's custom-made suit will be hand-delivered to the teenager by Brown and Sharpe CEO Leon Wu in person prior to Love's prom, scheduled for April 24.

In addition to helping with Love's trailblazing prom outfit, shoe designer Nik Kacy has donated footwear to the LGBT Youth Center in Los Angeles.

"We are pleased to hear Principal Taylor and the Monroe City School Board corrected this wrong before any serious harm was done," said NCLR executive director Kate Kendell in a statement earlier this month. "Forbidding girls from wearing a tuxedo to the prom would have served no purpose other than to reinforce the worst sorts of harmful stereotypes and censor a core part of Claudetteia's identity."

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