Springville High School graduate Holley Gerelds got her yearbook back last week, but her picture wasn’t in it.
She said she paid a $25 fee to pose for her senior class portrait, and then asked the photographer for the tuxedo top and jacket, instead of the traditional drape that most female students opt to wear.
This was something Gerelds says she had set out to do since her ninth grade school year. She said, the drape was “not me.”
“I wear masculine clothing,” she said. “I wore a suit to the prom. To church. Everything like that. I feel like it would be humiliating to wear the drape. No one sees me in feminine clothing. It would make me feel uncomfortable.”
According to al.com, St. Clair County Superintendent Mike Howard said in a statement that yearbook policies will be reevaluated, and that a page of the yearbook will be reprinted to show all students. In addition, Gerelds said Virgil Winslett, the school principal, called her to apologize.
“He was sweet,” she said. “He was very apologetic and respectful. He said I’m always welcome back to visit. He’s a good man.
“I’ve had a lot of people tell me that they have a son or daughter or family member that is proud of themselves because I spoke out, and that’s good,” she said. “I just want to educate people. Don’t judge someone, like a girl who wants to wear basketball shorts, or a boy who wants to wear a tutu. Life is hard and people find ways to be happy. Just let them be happy.”