Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday October 16, 2015 - School Dress Code 1969 vs 2015

I remember middle school at Sampson G. Smith in Franklin Township New Jersey. In 7th grade during the 1968-1969 school year, next to the King Assignation, the school dress code was the big issue. Girls could not wear pants during the school day.

Because we lived in New Jersey, during cold days, girls could wear pants to and from school, under their dress or skirt. But had to remove them, once the school day started. All that year the girls were demanding the right to wear pants during the school day.

I remember arguing that girls should not wear pants because if they did, how could we "guys" tell the difference between boys and girls. During that same time I was fighting my desire to wear woman clothes.

Toward the end of that school year, the dress code was changed and girls could wear pants anytime. I did not dare mention that boys should be allowed to wear skirts or dresses.

Here is the local front page newspaper story about the change.

Well we adjusted pretty well to the change. However during the next school year 1969-1970, now in 8th grade, my older cousin came out of the closet in 10th grade as a woman and wore a dress to school. He was labeled gay and thrown out of school and out of the house.

It was a big deal and our large extended family rejected him. It scared me deeper into the closet.

Here is a picture of him in 9th grade, the year before he came out. He was in a high school program for gifted students. This picture is from the local newspaper. I added the arrow.

Now in 2015, I ran across an article about Puerto Rico allowing boys to wear shirts.

Skirt or Pants? Students in Puerto Rico Can Now Wear Either

Just like in NJ in the late 1960's it will take some time but Transgirls can begin to come out while still in school. This will assist them in becoming productive citizens. I know it will take much more time, but its a start.

I sometimes think about my cousin and the loss of such a brilliant Transwoman who could could have brought so much positive energy to the community. He died in 1986 of HIV.

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