This UK School Is Scrapping Gender Rules For Uniforms

A private boarding school in Brighton has decided to do away with rules concerning mandatory uniforms. Traditionally, most British schools require girls to wear a skirt, and boys to wear trousers and a blazer. Brighton College, however, is recognising that items of clothing don't belong to one gender or the other, and that gender might not be so binary anyway. According to the BBC, the move was dictated by headmaster Richard Cairns, and is designed to make trans students or students experiencing gender dysphoria feel more comfortable. "If some boys and girls are happier identifying with a different gender from that in which they were born, then my job is to make sure that we accommodate that," said Cairns. The new rules are progressive, and bound to make life better for students who feel they don't fit into the fixed categories of male and female, or do not feel that they are cisgendered. Less progressive, however, were Cairns' recent comments that girls who attend single-sex schools are at a disadvantage when dealing with men. Is it a coincidence that the same school has hit the headlines once again, this time for more positive attitudes to gender, or just a PR stunt? Either way, students should be able to express their identity however they please both at school and outside of school – being allowed to wear the uniform they choose is a crucial part of that. UK universities in Lancaster and Northampton recently introduced the idea of gender neutral toilets following a campaign from students, and last year LGBT campaigner Elly Barnes urged all schools to introduce gender neutral uniforms. Finally, it seems, the right conversations are being had about how to make LGBT students feel more welcome – hopefully Brighton College's move will set an example to other schools that might want to consider following suit.

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