Lesbian student barred from wearing tuxedo in yearbook photo

Ceara Sturgis

Ceara Sturgis

JACKSON, Miss. — An openly gay high school student in Mississippi is fighting with school officials for the right to wear a tuxedo in her upcoming yearbook portrait.

According to Ceara Sturgis, 17, an honor student, trumpet player and soccer goalie for Wesson Attendance Center, school officials have barred her from wearing a tuxedo in her 2009-10 yearbook photo.

Ceara Sturgis

Ceara said when she submitted her request, school officials balked, informing her it is “school tradition” for females to wear elaborate dresses or gowns and for males to wear the tuxedos.

Now, Sturgis is fighting back, along with her mother Veronica Rodriguez and the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi.

“I feel like I’m not important, that the school is dismissing who I am as a gay student and that they don’t even care about me,” Sturgis said in a statement. “All I want is to be able to be me, and to be included in the yearbook.”

The ACLU issued a demand letter to Principal Ronald Greet to publish a picture of Sturgis in a tuxedo. The civil rights organization said its giving the school until Oct. 23 to respond before pursuing court action.

More on the story from The Associated Press.

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