Trans girl told to dress ‘like a boy’ will miss high school graduation after ‘absurd’ court ruling

A trans high school senior in southern Mississippi will miss her graduation ceremony after a judge refused to block the school’s “discriminatory” dress code, her lawyer said Saturday.

The 17-year-old, named in court papers as L.B., said Harrison Central High School officials told her she wouldn’t be allowed to wear the “white formal dress and dress shoes” she bought to wear to the May 20 ceremony — an outfit she said was “fully appropriate” and in line with the district’s graduation dress code for girls. Instead, she was told she needed to wear “pants, socks and shoes like a boy.”

Earlier this week, L.B.’s parents sued the school district seeking an immediate temporary restraining order that would allow their daughter to celebrate her special day wearing her chosen outfit.

But in a ruling handed down late Friday night, U.S. District Judge Taylor McNeel in Gulfport, Miss. sided with school officials and upheld the district’s “explicit discrimination,” the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi said in a statement.

L.B. could be barred from attending the ceremony if she doesn’t wear boys’ clothes, the judge ruled.

“Our client is being shamed and humiliated for explicitly discriminatory reasons, and her family is being denied a once-in-a-lifetime milestone in their daughter’s life,” said Linda Morris, staff attorney at the ACLU Women’s Rights Project.

The ruling is “as disappointing as it is absurd,” Morris added. “No one should be forced to miss their graduation because of their gender.”

Speaking about the lawsuit earlier this week, L.B. said her graduation was “supposed to be a moment of pride and celebration,” but school officials wanted “to turn it into a moment of humiliation and shame.”