A high school student in Alabama was left out of her senior yearbook because she chose to wear a tuxedo for her senior portrait.
Holly Gerelds graduated this year from Springville High School. On senior portrait day, Gerelds asked the photographer if she could wear the tuxedo instead of the traditional black V-neck drape for girls. She says she just wanted to be herself, NBC News reports.
“It’s what I’m more comfortable in,” Gerelds told local reporters. “I feel like if I was to wear the drape it’s not me.”
Gerelds, who identifies as part of the LGBT community, says it would have been “kind of humiliating” to have to wear the drape.
The photographer agreed to let her wear the tux. But when she got her yearbook last week, she discovered that her photo was missing altogether. Her name had the words “Not Pictured” next to it.
“I hate to say it, but I’m used to it. I saw it coming,” Gerelds said. “I honestly just laughed… I feel like I did nothing wrong. I paid. I was on time.”
Mike Howard, the superintendent of the St. Clair County School District, said in a statement that senior portraits “were taken in accordance with long-standing school guidelines.” He added that those guidelines are now under reevaluation for possible changes. Moreover, Springville High School is reprinting a page of the yearbook to “include all students, regardless of their choice of attire.”
As for Gerelds, she hopes that her case will draw attention to this issue so that others don’t have to go through the same ordeal.
“There’s another girl just like me that wants to wear a tux and she gets to wear a tux or another boy like me or anybody who identifies as anything in the world, that they get to wear what they want. That’s what I want,” she said.