Openly lesbian Mississippi high school senior Ceara Sturgis had her photo pulled from her school’s yearbook because she dared to pose in a tuxedo.
Veronica Rodriguez describes her daughter, 17-year-old Ceara Sturgis, as a perfect child: a straight-A student, goalie on the soccer team, a trumpet player in the band and active in Students Against Drunk Driving. She also is gay and feels more comfortable in boy’s clothes. So, Rodriguez said she supported her daughter’s decision to wear a tuxedo, rather than the drape customary for girls, when she had her senior portrait made in July. But Rodriguez said school officials at Wesson Attendance Center, a K-12 school in the Copiah County School District, were not as supportive and have refused to include the picture in the school yearbook. “The yearbook is not for the parents or the teachers. It’s for the students,” Rodriguez said. The school district had no comment on the matter. But Rodriguez said she has argued her case to school officials since the start of the school year before being told late last month that her daughter’s picture would not be allowed in the yearbook because of her clothing. “She’s not a troublemaker,” Rodriguez said. “She is gay. She wants to wear the tuxedo because that’s who she is. She’s not ashamed of that.”
The Mississippi chapter of the ACLU is on the case.