News | Texas | Transgender

Texas School District Says Picture Of Trans Student In Tuxedo Violates 'Community Standards'

A controversy has emerged out of La Feria, Texas after the town's high school refused to allow transgender senior Jeydon Loredo to wear a tuxedo in his senior portrait for the school's yearbook as it allegedly violates "community standards," according to District Superintendent Rey Villarreal. Villareal apparently told Jeydon's parents that his picture would only be included if he wore "stereotypically feminine attire, such as a drape or blouse."

TuxJeydon, who was born biologically female but identifies as male, has enlisted the help of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) who in turn brought in the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to petition the school board to allow him to appear in his yearbook in a tuxedo, an act that would respect and recognize his gender identity. However, after a meeting on Monday night in front of the La Feria School Board, where representatives from both SPLC and HRC were present to argue on Jeydon's behalf, the school board took no immediate action and is evidently not required to render a decision within any ascertainable time-frame. Moreover, Jeydon and his supporters now find themselves in something of a catch-22 as to how to proceed with their case:

"The superintendent...told representatives from the HRC that the "only formal way to address it" was through filing a disciplinary grievance form, though the district's own policies state that a gender discrimination complaint against the superintendent is made directly to the school board. Complaints made through a disciplinary grievance form, as the superintendent requested, would put the superintendent - the target of the complaint - in charge of the investigation's early stages."

You can read the letter sent earlier this week by SPLC to the La Feria School Board, outlining how they are discriminating against Jeydon and why they must move towards inclusivity, HERE.

UPDATE: Jeydon has won.

Today the La Feria School Board decided to allow the formal tuxedo senior portrait of Jeydon Loredo to appear in the yearbook, after previously forbidding it because Jeydon is transgender.  The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, has been working with Jeydon’s family to resolve the issue in partnership with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)...

...In an agreement reached during the meeting, attorneys for the La Feria Independent School District agreed to provide written confirmation that Jeydon’s tuxedo photo will appear in the yearbook along with the other students in his class. In addition, the district agreed to follow its own corrective policies for cases of gender discrimination and provide training for those involved, along with a comprehensive education program for the school community. The district will also expressly include gender expression in its antidiscrimination policies.

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Comments

  1. Most asinine thing I've read today. Who could possibly object to that picture?

    And this foolishness is happening in a place named La Feria?

    Posted by: Ready | Nov 16, 2013 12:47:29 PM


  2. The district has already approved the picture and it will appear in he yearbook.

    http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/state&id=9327406

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | Nov 16, 2013 12:51:36 PM


  3. It should never have been an issue in the first place that needed to be approved.

    I'll bet that if a pretty blond straight cheerleader wanted to wear a football jersey in her yearbook photo no one would have objected.

    Posted by: Ready | Nov 16, 2013 12:56:00 PM


  4. Blah blah blah. What standards? Who has the right and power to decide of those standards, that's the question.

    Posted by: Matt27 | Nov 16, 2013 12:59:06 PM


  5. Here's a link to the District's Board of Trustee's web site with contact info!

    http://laferia.schooldesk.net/SchoolBoard/tabid/6866/Default.aspx

    Posted by: Ken | Nov 16, 2013 1:19:06 PM


  6. Congrats Jeydon! More (pre-victory) thoughts here: Texas Teen’s Fight Serves As Important Reminder: Federal Law Protects Trans Youth: youthallies.com/transgender-teens-fight-wear-tux-serves-important-reminder/

    Posted by: Mike | Nov 16, 2013 1:19:09 PM


  7. So this is what makes Texas the conservative paradise that stands up for personal freedom and getting government off your back?

    Posted by: Mike | Nov 16, 2013 1:32:14 PM


  8. What's the matter with Texas ?
    Is it entirely populated by angry old white bigots ?
    Why does Texas have the highest proportion of homeless LGBT ?
    There's something really amiss with Texas, it seems to take pleasure in its own perverse disagreeable ill temper.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Nov 16, 2013 2:05:46 PM


  9. This is a school district which resisted racial desegregation right into the 1970's, maintaining racially-segregated classes and clubs even after this was long before declared by the Supreme Court to be illegal. One of this high school's feeder elementary schools was named in honor of a man (Robert E. Lee) whose mission was to keep Black enslaved. Students were racially segregated there and given corporal punishment if they were caught speaking Spanish.
    And of course, this school district is located in a wider region that supported Jim Crow laws, resisted women's right to vote, and where gay people are still treated as second-class citizens.
    Essentially, what this school administrator is telling us is that notions like acceptance of others, kindness, equal treatment and freedom are against the community's values.
    It's disgusting, but it's nothing new or surprising in the small-town South.

    Posted by: GregV | Nov 16, 2013 2:08:25 PM


  10. Why? Because he's handsome and cleans up well and his straight-cis counterparts looked like slobs?

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Nov 16, 2013 2:23:27 PM


  11. Aw look, Sean Mandell is trying ever so hard to show us how progressive he is. And how does he do that? By stuffing as many trans stories on the site as he can find. There is no such thing as gay anymore and we are no longer allowed to follow gay news. Now we are all LGBT and we have to pretend like we give a flying sh*t about straight people with gender identity disorder.

    So congratulations Sean Mandell on demonstrating your self-loathing, internalized homophobia. I guess that's the marker for being progressive nowadays.

    Posted by: Alan W. | Nov 16, 2013 2:24:50 PM


  12. Werk it boy! It's a great pic! It's too bad he looks so Mexican tho but nobody's perfect!

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Nov 16, 2013 2:29:38 PM


  13. Alan if you don't like the content of this blog, then do us all a favor and STOP READING IT!

    Posted by: e.c. | Nov 16, 2013 2:32:28 PM


  14. Yeah EC, then we can add Towleroad to the list of gay blogs that once thrived but are now mostly dead thanks to a focus on trans crap and the presence of homophobic trans activists.

    Trans activists see us as a source of money and a group of suckers willing to do their bidding. They hold us in contempt. Go and read the trans blogs and see what they say about gay people.

    Posted by: Alan W | Nov 16, 2013 2:39:46 PM


  15. I love when whiny folks come on here and complain about those awful bogeymen, the trans activists. They can never provide real documentation to back their claims up. Alan, show me some links. Show me that this is a pervasive attitude in the trans community.

    Posted by: TheDrDonna | Nov 16, 2013 2:51:43 PM


  16. Three things were guaranteed to come from this story ever since Jeydon experienced this bigotry: Jeydon was going to win, trolls here were going to troll, and this comments section would become all about the trolls and not about Jeydon.

    This has been your Obvious Update for today.

    Posted by: oncemorewithfeeling | Nov 16, 2013 2:58:07 PM


  17. The good news is that the School Board (with some pressure) did the right thing and that Jeydon gets to appear how he wants. The ridiculous news is that it was an issue to begin with. Some things may violate "community standards" but--for any rational person--a high schooler in a tuxedo isn't close to being one of them.

    @AlanW: If you don't like TR and "trans blogs," easy solution: read something else and spare us the nonsense whining.

    Posted by: Ernie | Nov 16, 2013 3:05:48 PM


  18. Dear Troll Who Is Obsessed With Me, and Apparently Hates Mexicans: chug a bottle of bleach.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Nov 16, 2013 3:12:09 PM


  19. I think if he put on a dress he would of looked even stranger, like a dude in a dress. They probably wouldn't approve that photo either.

    Posted by: Craig | Nov 16, 2013 3:30:41 PM


  20. We'll know that they really got the message when they allow a transgender FEMALE to wear a dress or drape in her yearbook photo. For some reason people seem to get even more upset with transgender females and non gender conforming males.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Nov 16, 2013 3:31:25 PM


  21. Alan W: Links, please. If there are no prove, is simply trolling

    Posted by: jjose712 | Nov 16, 2013 3:40:53 PM


  22. @AlanW: Some anonymous comment in a trans issues blog may well be someone like Brian Brown or Maggie Gallagher (or their supporters) under a pseudonym. We know that one of NOM's goals (disclosed in internal e-mails that were made public) was to try to create anger and division between Black and gay people.
    It would not surprise me if they also think that it would be a good idea to pretend to me a gay-hating trans person on trans blogs and a trans-hating gay person on gay blogs (like, umm.. YOU, perhaps?)

    When I go to events organized by gay organizations, I see people who overwhelmingly support equality for EVERYONE.
    Likewise, I never see a trans person who has a real-life name and widespread support making public statements against gay people's rights.

    If you're (for real) angry at trans people because you read a comment by someone without a face on the internet named "Trans23Skidoo" then you are no smarter than a Towleroad reader who is gullible enough to fall for the trap and gets angry at a whole segment of society because someone came here under an anonymous name, claiming to be from a certain race or orientation to make racist or anti-trans comments.

    Posted by: GregV | Nov 16, 2013 4:23:13 PM


  23. The whole idea of "community standards" as a reason to censor something should be illegal. The first amendment is good guidance here. It doesn't say speech is free as long as the community likes it. It says it's free.

    Posted by: Randy | Nov 16, 2013 4:44:26 PM


  24. Yay! Great news!

    Posted by: Andy | Nov 16, 2013 5:22:04 PM


  25. so now we have a battle between trans and the gays? like we need any more problems...

    Posted by: tbc | Nov 16, 2013 7:03:47 PM


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