Tag: Polish

200,000 back gay teen suspended over nail polish

Trevor Wilkinson, 17, a senior at Clyde High School in Clyde, Texas

Trevor Wilkinson, 17, a senior at Clyde High School in Clyde, Texas (Twitter/GMA)

Nearly 200,000 people signed a petition supporting gay teenager Trevor Wilkinson, who was suspended by his Texas school for wearing nail polish.

Trevor Wilkinson, 17, a senior at Clyde High School in Clyde, Texas, ignited a row after he returned from Thanksgiving break with his nails painted.

Even though girls at the school are permitted to have their nails painted, Wilkinson was told that it was a breach of the dress code for boys to do so, and the teen was served an indefinite in-school suspension when he refused to back down.

A Change.org petition in support of Wilkinson has now attracted nearly 200,000 signatures, while the teen was even invited to appear on Good Morning America to address the issue.

After the story attracted nationwide attention and a tidal wave of solidarity, the school now appears to be looking to make amends.

Trevor Wilkinson asked to compromise by taking off his nail polish.

The Clyde Independent School District has called a “special meeting” scheduled at Thursday (10 December) to discuss a potential change to the dress code, local media reports.

According to local outlet KTAB, Trevor Wilkinson said that he has had discussions with the superintendent and principal where they pressed him to agree a “compromise” where he would remove the nail polish in order to return to his classes.

Nail polish: 17-year-old Trevor Wilkinson is challenging his school's 'homophobic' policy on nail polish
17-year-old Trevor Wilkinson is challenging his school’s ‘homophobic’ policy (Instagram/trevormichae1)

He said: “My superintendent and principal tried to respectfully find a middle ground for us to meet on to kind of put this away, but unfortunately I could not do that middle ground, I could not meet them there.

“The middle ground that they wanted was: I take off my nails and in return, they’ll let me speak at the board meeting. But I could not do that because I’ve been to a board meeting before and I spoke about a lot of these things and nothing happened, so I decided to not take the middle ground and to actually stand my ground on this.”

Despite his lack of agreement, the teen said the school has now lifted his suspension – though he will continue to press for the policy to officially change.

Teen vows to ensure school ends ‘double standard’ policy.

Trevor Wilkinson added: “This isn’t just about the dress code. This is about more than that. It’s about discrimination and sexism and homophobia and racism and how not OK it is.”

In a social media post, he added: “Thank you everyone for your support. I cannot express that enough and I could not have gotten this far without you guys! I know a lot of you have called and emailed my school board – flooding their voicemails and inboxes.

“Thank you for standing alongside me to create change so that students like me can express ourselves in authentic ways in school and focus on our studies rather.

“As well as ending the gender norms that society has oppressed on us. Please continue to call and email but for those of you who want to challenge dangerous gender stereotypes you can join me in painting your nails and rocking them all over Texas and the country. Again, thank you all for your support and our voices will not go unheard.”

The school board said previously: “Questions or concerns with the dress code are reviewed individually, and the district cannot share any information regarding 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.”

Polish bishop claims conversion therapy fears are ‘a misconception’

Polish bishop claims conversion therapy fears are 'a misconception'

A Polish bishop dismissed fears that the Catholic church wants to force LGBT+ people into conversion therapy (Artur Widak/NurPhoto/ Getty)

A Polish bishop has insisted it’s a “misconception” that the church wants to force LGBT+ people into conversion therapy, despite calling for the creation of conversion therapy clinics just days earlier.

After a three-day Polish Episcopal Conference, bishops in Poland produced a 27-page document outlining their stance on LGBT+ issues. It included the claim that it is “necessary to create [conversion therapy] clinics… to help people regain their sexual health and natural sexual orientation”.

“These clinics also make sense when complete sexual transformation is too difficult,” it continued, “as they can still help psychosexuals to deal with significant challenges.”

The document was the latest in a string of attacks against the LGBT+ community by the Polish Catholic church, and prompted considerable backlash.

But in a September 2 statement, Bishop Józef Wróbel, an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Lublin and chairman of the bioethics committee of the Bishops’ Conference of Poland, said that it was a “misconception” to suggest that the bishops wanted to coerce people into “therapy”.

According to the Catholic Herald, he said the recommendation was aimed only at those “who seek such help and ask for it, because they experience suffering because of their inclinations”.

So-called ‘conversion therapy’ refers to the dangerous and discredited practise of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. It has been rejected by every mainstream medical and mental health organisation for decades, is often compared to torture and has been linked to higher risks of depression, suicide, and drug addiction.

The fact that conversion therapy is “clearly in contradiction” to scientific evidence was acknowledged in the Episcopal conference, yet Bishop Wróbel maintained that it is effective.

He said: “In rare cases, transformation is possible under two conditions, namely that the LGBT person must really desire such a change (usually making an outright heroic effort in this direction) and there is as yet no homosexual sexual experience.

“Such help is not possible if, at the starting point, a person adopts the attitude that this inclination is natural, willed by the Creator, and should be accepted.”

The United Nations has compared conversion therapy to torture and has long called for a global ban. But the bishop opposed this, insisted that a ban on such therapies does not “make sense”.

He said: “In practice, such a position does not make sense, because it means that the UN demands to control who goes to a psychologist and for what purpose, or who goes to the Church, who confesses and what they confess.”