I’ve been reading about the out gay high school senior in Mississippi and her supportive mother who have engaged an ACLU lawyer in a battle against the school officials who banned her photo from the yearbook on the grounds that she was wearing a tuxedo instead of a drape.
Ceara Sturgis in her Tux
Ceara Sturgis makes me feel hope for the future. She can’t be more than 18 years old; she’s fresh-faced and completely adorable, with an emo hipster haircut and a certain confidence in herself that just moves me to tears. I defy you to watch the following video clips and not tear up as Ceara asks what’s so wrong with her wearing a tux, anyway, her tone ironic and easy, underscoring a complete lack of shame. Just try to keep a dry eye as her mother says, “Gay or not, I don’t care; that’s my daughter and I love her.”
I get dejected about the state of things at times, in terms of our rights, social stigma, and all the ways we’re institutionally dehumanized… but I have to say, seeing this girl who is so willing to advocate for herself and empowered enough to do it — and a mother who backs her up all the way — shows me that her generation is reaping some of the benefits of a turning tide.