Prom. Ugh. Even if you adhere to society’s rigid standards of gender and fashion, the teenage rite of passage known as prom is still littered with enough pitfalls to make it one of the more excruciating aspects of growing up. And when you don’t follow those standards, things can get downright unpleasant. That’s what just happened to one Pennsylvania teen when she was barred from entering her prom because she showed up wearing a tuxedo.
On Friday, Aniya Wolf, a junior at Bishop McDevitt high school in Harrisburg, Pa., said her mother, Carolyn, was told via an email from school officials that Aniya would not be allowed to enter the prom if she showed up not wearing a “formal dress.” Aniya’s mom reached out to the school saying that she’d reviewed the dress code stipulations when administrators sent them to parents of students at the Catholic school. “I told them that I had read the dress code that was given to the students and I didn’t think that it precluded her from wearing a suit,” Carolyn said in an interview with a local TV station. “I said that this was very unfair, particularly at the last minute.” Aniya, who’s a lesbian and said she’s always felt more comfortable wearing masculine clothes, already had her tux and a date. So, they decided to show up and see if they could get in.
“I think my experience shouldn’t be any different than anyone else’s because of something I was born with,” Aniya said.
But it was different. The school’s principal denied her entry and, Aniya said, threatened to call the police if she didn’t leave. After Aniya’s story appeared on a local news broadcast, the school issued a statement on Facebook defending its decision. “The dress code for the prom specified girls must wear formal dresses,” the statement read. “It also stated that students who failed to follow the dress code would not be admitted.” Aniya posted a photo on Facebook of her date pinning a corsage on her tux along with news about being barred from entering the prom.
As news of Aniya’s ordeal spread, her friends came to her defense on social media. And not long after that, celebrities who’d read her story reached out over Twitter to pass along words of support. Below are a few tweets from Andy Mientus, Max Ehrich, and Montel Williams.
Friends at school even came up with the idea to all wear pants on Monday as a show of solidarity. But better than all of the kind words from celebrities and supportive gestures from friends was Aniya’s mom’s succinct take on the situation that shows her love for her daughter.
“I think my daughter’s beautiful in a suit,” she said.
Read the full story at The Huffington Post.