"It's a complete double standard because girls are allowed."
A male student who was suspended from school for wearing nail polish believes that was unfair... and more than 22,000 people agree with him.
Trevor Wilkinson, a senior at Clyde High School in Texas, was pulled from his class on Monday because he painted his nails — something he says female students are allowed to do with impunity.
"I was told that I will continue to get ISS (In school suspension) until I take them off," he wrote in a petition started that day. "It's a complete double standard because girls are allowed to paint and get their nails done. Not only that, but freedom of expression is validation enough that the dress code and policy is not okay."
Trevor, who is gay and "beyond proud" of it, said the discrimination was unjust and not okay.
"Help me show that it is okay to express yourself and that the identity that society wants to normalize is not okay," he wrote in his petition. "I am a human. I am valid. I should not get in trouble for having my nails done."
Four days later, his petition has sailed passed 22k signatures and is climbing fast.
Among those supporting him are Abilene Pride Alliance, who wrote a letter to the school on his behalf, KTAB reported.
"We are hopeful that the intent of this action was not to be directly discriminatory. But unfortunately, the outcome is that this policy and its enforcement have discriminated against this child and possibly more before him," they wrote.
It called for him to be released from ISS — which forces him to attend classes cut off from the rest of the school — as well as an apology, which if it's not forthcoming, "we will have no option but to defend this student and any LGBTQIA students that happen to find themselves being discriminated against."
Clyde CISD issued a statement in response, insisting the school's dress code is only reviewed once per year — and did not address Wilkinson's situation at all.
"The District conducts a diligent and thoughtful review of the dress code on an annual basis. That review process results in the development of a final dress code that is consistently implemented and enforced during the next school year. Parents and students are provided a copy of the dress code prior to the start of each new school year," it said.
"Questions or concerns with the dress code are reviewed individually, and the District cannot share any information regarding a specific student. The District appreciates the feedback and input on this issue received from members of the community, and will take this into consideration when it conducts its annual review later this school year."
Wilkinson said he has had more issues at the school — which he describes as "very traditional" — since he came out.
Indeed, its extremely specific dress code decrees that girls' hair color "must be of naturally occurring color in the human genome"; if jeans are form-fitting they must have pockets, and leggings can only be worn if "accompanied by an approved top that is within 5 inches from the top of the knee cap."
Boys meanwhile are also only permitted hair color naturally occurring in the "human genome", can only open a single button down from the neck, and — of course — "Make-up and nail polish are prohibited".