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New LGBT Prom Resource for Students

Chris Hampton,
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April 29, 2009

Prom season is in full swing, and we at the ACLU are seeing an uptick in calls and emails from students whose schools have either tried to stop them from bringing same-sex dates or tried to enforce rigidly gender-stereotyped dress codes. Both are illegal. As Deb Price of the Detroit News pointed out in her column today, the ACLU affiliates in both Ohio and Mississippi have recently gotten schools to back down from discriminatory prom policies. Now the ACLU LGBT Project has created a new resource to help LGBT students take fight for their legal right to enjoy prom into their own hands.

At our new LGBT prom resource page, students can find two new ready-to-print letters to school officials. If school administrators are standing in the way of your special night, you can print one of these letters, hand it over, and ask them to reconsider their policy. The first letter addresses school bans on bringing same-sex dates to prom. The second letter addresses schools that ban girls from wearing tuxedos, the complaint we get most often when it comes to prom dress codes. Both letters as well as some additional information are online at /lgbtprom.

We can often help LGBT students with similar prom dress code issues as well, such as transgender girls being told they can’t wear dresses, so if that’s happening to you — or if you’ve tried one of our letters and the school isn’t backing down — please let us know!