Remember Jonathan Escobar, the teen boy who was asked to dress more manly or be homeschooled? A few commenters wondered what would happen if roles were reversed: If Jonathan was a girl trying to dress like a boy, would school officials still have a problem with it?
In Wesson, Mississippi, the answer to that question is yes.
Ceara Sturgis is a senior at Wesson Attendance Center, and, like many students her age, got senior pictures taken for the yearbook. “I tried on the drape and it looked ridiculous. It was terrible,” Sturgis told WLOX, referring to to V-drape that many girls wear in their senior portraits. So Ceara decided to put on formal attire that did make her feel comfortable: a tuxedo.
School authorities refused to put her portrait into the school yearbook, however, and they also would not comment on their reasons why. But when pushed, a Copiah County School Board spokesperson suggested that WLOX “dig a little deeper” into the issue. They did, and they discovered Sturgis is gay.
Ah, okay. So that explains everythin….oh wait, no it doesn’t.
So she’s gay and she feels more comfortable in a tux. There seems to be little there to keep her from sharing yearbook space with her classmates. And if it’s the cross-dressing part that throws school authorities, they’re going to have a tough time explaining their “backwards beauty and beau” pageant, an event where everyone cross-dresses for fun.
Maybe WLOX didn’t dig deep enough, and there’s a reason here why Sturgis shouldn’t be allowed to have her picture in her senior yearbook that the school board can’t or won’t share — though it needs to be mentioned there’s no official policy or dress code that applies to the yearbook. Or maybe this is just another case of a teen punished for not being exactly like everyone else.
In Ceara’s own words, “What’s so wrong about it? Why is it wrong? Tell me.”