Thursday, May 25, 2006

Transgender Teen Shut Out of Prom

GARY, Ind.
A transgender student who has worn women's clothes to school all year was turned away from her high school prom because she was wearing a dress.

Kevin Logan, 18, went to the West Side High School prom on Friday in a slinky fuchsia gown and heels. She believes officials discriminated against her by not allowing her inside.

"I have no formal pictures, no memories, nothing. You only have one prom," she said.

Logan received an $85 refund for her prom ticket Tuesday but was not satisfied. She said she is considering filing a complaint with the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana.

Sylvester Rowan, assistant to Gary Schools Superintendent Mary Steele, said school policy bans males from wearing dresses. Excluding Logan from the prom was based on "the dress code, not the student's homosexuality. That's his personal preference."

Tyrone Hanley, the youth program coordinator for the Gender Public Advocacy Coalition in Washington, D.C., said he often sees cases like this and called it gender-based discrimination.

"Prohibiting really short skirts for everyone is a fair dress code; prohibiting them for males is not," he said.

Logan said she had spent years defining and exploring her gender identity. This year, she took a major step by dressing as a female every day, wearing makeup, a hair weave, nails and girls' fitted jeans to school.

His mother, Donnetta Logan, said she was not surprised by what she called the ignorance of school administrators.

"I tell Kevin that in society there will be those who accept him and those who won't."

© 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

TransGriot Note: Pronouns in story adjusted because original article is NOT in compliance with the 2006 AP Stylebook guidelines for writing stories on transgendered people.

From the 2006 AP Stylebook:

transgender: Use the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth.

If that preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the way the individuals live publicly.

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