Transgender high school senior wins battle to wear dress to school prom

Tony Zamazal

Tony Zamazal

HOUSTON — A transgender high school senior in Houston, Texas, has won a fight to wear a dress to the senior prom.

Spring Independent School District said that Tony Zamazal, a transgender student at Spring High School, may wear a dress, pump-style shoes, makeup and a wig to the school prom on May 11, reported KTRK-TV.

Tony Zamazal

The American Civil Liberties Union says a school administrator previously told Zamazal that wearing a dress would be “unacceptable” attire, as rules state only female students can wear dresses and males must wear tuxedos.

At one point, according to the ACLU, Zamazal was told by the principal she would have to consult the school board because it would be a “community decision.”

“All I wanted was to get to wear a dress to prom, because I wouldn’t have felt comfortable at all showing up in a tux,” the 19-year-old senior said, in a prepared statement. “I’m so grateful that my school has agreed to let me be myself on such an important night.”

The ACLU sent a letter to the principal on March 18, explaining that federal law and the U.S. Constitution protect Zamazal’s right to wear a dress to prom.

The school district responded last week and affirmed that it will allow Zamazal to attend the prom in the formal clothing of her choice.

“Tony has the right under both federal statutes and the U.S. Constitution to express her gender identity,” said Adriana Pinon, ACLU of Texas Senior Staff Attorney. “Students’ legal rights aren’t something that public schools get to put up to a vote. We’re happy to see the school do the right thing.”

This Story Filed Under