Cross-dressing comments wrong

A couple of weeks ago, Mr. Melia made a comment at the pep rally that really hit me hard. He said that cross dressing was prohibited and those that participated in such an act would be dress coded. I for one believe that there is nothing wrong with cross dressing and that this was a very intolerant remark from our Dean.

I immediately pulled out my planner to look over West Shore’s dress code to see where they mention cross dressing, but I found nothing of the sort. This is why I decided to subtly cross dress the following week as protest. I don’t want anyone at our school to think that cross dressing is wrong, especially if there happens to be any closet trans-gender students going here, or just anyone who chooses to express themselves in this way.

From personal experiences and relationships I’ve had, I know that it is already difficult for these people to just go out in public and be subjected to intolerance and nasty looks from passers-by, feeling as though they are alienated from society just because they want to express who they truly are. But for a school administrator to come out and berate their way of living in front of the entire school just disgusts me. I have thought of the possibility that maybe Mr. Melia didn’t mean exactly what he said, and maybe this is all just one big misunderstanding, but the fact of the matter is it came off the wrong way and has caused uproar between me and my fellow students.

My experience with cross-dressing that week went as follows: I showed up to school in a very feminine shirt and met up with a friend to do my makeup. As I walked through the hallways, I received a few judgmental looks from some of the faculty (I won’t mention any names) and a few snickers from some of the younger students. To my surprise, the rest of my class was actually very supportive of my cause, praising me for standing up for what I believed in. I didn’t even cause much of a distraction at all. I would occasionally receive a few questions from curious classmates, but other than that the classroom environment was not disrupted.

I think West Shore administration feels as though they are protecting students by staying quiet when it comes to issues involving “untraditional” sexual orientation, but I believe that by doing this they are inadvertently breeding intolerance into a whole community of students and crippling their well-being.

— Trevor Kolp, senior