Catholic school pulls senior's yearbook photo because she wore a tuxedo

An LGBT student at the Catholic school won't be in the yearbook because she opted to wear a tux instead of a dress

Published May 16, 2014 8:25PM (EDT)

Jessica Urbina's yearbook photo proof     (CBS)
Jessica Urbina's yearbook photo proof (CBS)

A Catholic School in San Francisco has pulled a graduating senior's picture from the yearbook because she opted to wear a tuxedo instead of a dress. Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory student Jessica Urbina will be excluded from the yearbook and will not have her photo shown during graduation because her choice of outfit violated the school's dress code, according to a report from CBS 5KPIX.

A post on the school's website said that it is "always regretful when a student portrait is omitted for any reason" and that "as a community we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that all students are included in the future." It is strange though, because school policy requires girls wear dresses in yearbook photos but gives them the option of wearing slacks during school hours. It's hard to understand the difference between a tux and slacks, in terms of "appropriate" attire.

Principal Gary Cannon told reporters that, “Straight, gay, bi, transgender, all that. They’re all welcome at Sacred Heart Cathedral, and at the same time we’re going to be clear in terms of being a Catholic institution what the Catholic church teaches and how do we live out that faith in a meaningful way, and in a supportive way with all of our students.”

In an act of protest and solidarity with Urbina, students showed up to school on Friday wearing bow-ties and tuxedos. Urbina’s girlfriend, Katie Emanuel, said of the controversy, “I support my girlfriend. I love my school, and I want to make it as good as it can be for people like us.”




By Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

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Anti-lgbtq Discrimination Catholic Schools Gender Gender Norms Homophobia