By the time I was a sophomore in high school, it had become routine for me to be sent home for wearing dresses. My mere presence in a skirt became an act of protest that would get me called out of class and into the vice principal’s office.
“You’re making students uncomfortable,” the vice principal would say. “They can’t concentrate on their studies.”
I argued that they couldn’t concentrate on their studies because they were too busy gawking at me, whispering about me, giggling at me. My dress wasn’t the problem; their ignorance and intolerance was. I couldn’t understand why being myself warranted reprimands.
This vice principal did not take into consideration how long it had taken for me to gather the inner strength to openly express my femininity. He did not think about how calling me out of class because of my garments disrupted my education. He did not care to realize that by singling me out, he was validating some of my peers’ taunts, making me look all the more like some kind of deviant.
Through his and the administration’s words and actions, I was told I didn’t belong in that school. I was not welcome, despite my involvement (I was captain of the volleyball team, played tuba in the marching band and was elected to student government). I felt isolated for daring to be myself, a transgender girl. READ MORE.