Gay Texas Teen Prevails over School's Nail Polish Policy

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Thursday April 22, 2021
Originally published on April 21, 2021

Trevor Wilkinson
Trevor Wilkinson  (Source:Screenshot/ABC News)

Out Texas teen Trevor Wilkinson was suspended late last year for wearing nail polish to school in violating of the dress code. With community support...he's helped to overturn that policy local news station KTXS reports.

The school board voted April 19 to revise this dress code, the news station reported; policies in the code will now apply equally to male and female students.

"It is with great honor, I am pleased to announce that Clyde High School's dress code is officially gender-neutral," the teen told the local news station.

As previously reported at EDGE, the teen is a high school senior at Clyde High School in Clyde, Texas. When he returned to school after last Thanksgiving, it was with painted nails. He was suspended for violating the dress code, which prohibited boys to wear nail polish or makeup.

Wilkinson took to social media and started a petition to press for an update of the school's policy, writing that "freedom of expression is validation enough that the dress code and policy is not okay.

"I am a gay male, and I'm beyond proud," Wilkinson wrote. "I am a human. I am valid. I should not get in trouble for having my nails done."

His efforts were met with some support. His story was featured on Good Morning America in December.

Wilkinson testified to the school board in mid-December, saying that the policy was "a discriminatory, sexist policy that needs to be changed."

"Why is it against dress code for a man to be comfortable with his masculinity and defy the gender norms society has imposed on us?" Wilkinson asked. "Is it harmful for me to wear nail polish? If it's not harmful for girls to wear it, why is it harmful for males?"

The school board initially said there would be no change to the policy, but that changed with the April 19 vote.

"I am so blessed by the support, love, and help I have received through this experience," Wilkinson told KTXS.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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