The BEST Gay News in Chicago

Beaches, Bars, Socials, Events and More!

 

Chicago Area Lesbian Student Wins Right to Wear Tux to Prom

An openly lesbian Chicago-area high school senior who was told she could not wear a tuxedo to her prom has now won the right to do so.



 Proviso East High School student , Belinda Sanchez hopes to one day become a civil rights attorney. On Thursday, the 18-year-old got her first taste of victory, winning the right to wear a tuxedo to her upcoming senior prom.


Sanchez was initially told by the Maywood school’s principal, Milton Patch, that she could not wear a tuxedo to her prom and needed to wear a dress.


“I was just shocked,” Sanchez said.


Sanchez, a lesbian, said has been open about her sexuality since freshman year. She said the school has an active gay-straight alliance and it is very supportive of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.


She wound up contacting the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois over the prom situation. On Wednesday, the group sent a letter to the school district backing her position.


“This sends a negative message to other students that they can’t express who they are,” said John Knight, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Project at the ACLU. “It’s a First Amendment right, a free speech right, and that includes her right to send a message through wearing male clothing that she doesn’t think women should be restricted to traditional female clothing.”



In a quick 24 hour response –  the Proviso Township school district sent a response to Knight saying that Sanchez will be allowed to wear a tuxedo to the prom, on April 22.

 High school lesbians wearing tuxes in school has foolishly been an issue all over the country. You would think this would be an a non-issue.  Come on, a Chicago suburb pulling this? A reminder conservatives are everywhere. 

A school district spokeswoman wrote an email to the Tribune about how the incident involving Sanchez has been a learning experience for the school: “(Sanchez has opened) up a new, very interesting and healthy dialogue in terms of our prom review procedures. We support our students in all of their differences and we encourage them to express themselves in various ways as long as it is not disruptive to the school environment. The principal gave his initial determination based on his interpretation of the policy, and the student asked that it be reconsidered. After looking into the policy — it was.”