Texas Trans Teen Fights To Have Senior Portrait Included In Yearbook

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The Southern Poverty Law Center, major civil rights group, is standing up for a Texas trans teen being denied his picture included in La Feria High School's yearbook.

Jeydon Loredo, on the right, is being denied the opportunity to have his senior year portrait included because his picture supposedly violated “community standards.” District Superintendent Rey Villarreal told Jeydon's mother that her son's senior portrait would be included only if Jeydon complied to their demands by wearing a drape or blouse. These are the type of stereotypical feminine attire La Feria ISD believes is suitable for publication.

“I want to be in the yearbook like everybody because it shows who I really am and down the road I don't want people to forget me,” said Jeydon.

Watch the Valley Central's interview with Jeydon below the jump.

The yearbook photo did not posed a problem for other male students wearing tuxedos.

Jeydon with his mother, Stella M. Loredo.

“I had been waiting all day to take the picture and so when I found out… it was just really upsetting to me. I was so upset, I wasn't even going to take it,” said Jeydon.

“This is not Jeydon acting out,” said Jeydon's mother, Stella M. Loredo. “He is a man, who was lucky enough to grow up in La Feria. Denying him the tuxedo photo is a slap in the face to me, to him, and to a community that should respect all students.”

“We all support him and for the school district to be making this decision… saying he is not male and not allowing this photo to be in there, it's infuriating,” said Loredo.

Jeydon was assigned a female gender at birth. But Jeydon, who identifies as transgender, grew to realize that his correct gender identity, his own internal sense of gender, is actually male.

La Feria ISD could face a federal lawsuit by the SPLC.

The SPLC, working with the Human Rights Campaign, sent their demand letter to La Feria district officials on Wednesday. The letter was made several days after the school board refused Jeydon's appeal to be pictured in the yearbook.

“Please allow my community to remember me, and to remember me the way I truly am, in the clothes that reflect me: Jeydon Laredo,” Jeydon asked the board.

Not only does the school's decision violate La Feria ISD's own anti-discrimination policies, it violates Jeydon's First Amendment rights, as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The school's refusal to publish Jeydon's picture also violates Title IX.

The SPLC will file lawsuit if La Feria ISD does not accept to include Jeydon's tuxedo picture by next Thursday, Nov. 21.


About Author

Omar Araiza

Staff writer Omar Araiza covers immigration, Latino voters, the U.S.-Mexico border, and LGBT issues. He is a proud South Texas native, born and raised in the lower Rio Grande Valley. Omar tweets from @AraizaTX.

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