Free To Be You And Me? Boy Punished For Wearing Makeup To School

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A fourteen-year-old Florida boy named Chris Martin was chastised recently for wearing makeup to school, an event that has raised questions about gender conformity and tolerance within school systems. Martin, who does not define his sexual orientation, decided to wear eyeliner, eyeshadow, and lipstick to his last day of classes — with the consent of his mothers, who didn't think twice when he asked them to help with his makeup application. "More than anything, I was happy to see him so confident in expressing himself," says Katelynn Martin.

So, you can imagine her surprise when Chris called her to report that he had been reprimanded by the principal of his school for his getup, which apparently broke the school's dress code. Ms. Martin's theory is that her son was discriminated against for his sexual preference (or lack thereof): "In my opinion, the principal was not passing judgement upon my son's appearance, but rather his person." In response to Chris' ordeal, his moms have started a petition at Moveon.org that they hope will make life at school easier for LBGTQ teens.

This story, like the recent backlash against Rachel Zoe letting her son have long hair, shows just how far we have to go before we can be considered a truly accepting society, one in which children and teens can feel free to express themselves without fear that they will be judged, bullied, or punished. We're also getting really sick of administrators using the "violates school dress code" excuse to justify their intolerance against children who choose to express themselves in a way that doesn't conform to gender or societal norms. Shouldn't our educators be a little less concerned with a kid's hair and makeup and a little more concerned on, you know, teaching them? (Huffington Post)

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