A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about Jonathan Escobar, a teenager who was recently expelled from school because of the way that he dressed. This past week in the Sunday Styles section of the New York Times, an article by Jan Hoffman entitled “Can a Boy Wear a Skirt to School?” discusses cross-dressing and gender-bending and educational institutaions’ responses. The Jonathan I wrote about was of course mentioned and Hoffman points to other youth in similar situations, including a Mississippi student’s senior picture being barred from the school’s yearbook because she was wearing a tuxedo.
This issue is one that I urge all educators to think about and talk about with their colleagues and parents. Gender is increasingly understood and preformed in much more expansive and creative ways and as educators we need to be ready to embrace the youth work with and their variety of gender identities and expressions.