Students Want Gender Neutral Graduation Gowns

Some students at Nathan Hale-Ray School in East Haddam are asking school officials to have all students wear the same color instead to help students who do not identify with a gender feel more comfortable.

Traditionally for the Moodus area school, girl students wear white graduation gowns and boys wear blue.

“We think that changing to one color would set the precedence that both genders are equal and it would allow transgender students or students who don’t conform to a single gender (to) allow them to feel more comfortable on graduation,” said student, Libby Ryan.

Masey Bradway, a senior, said she would feel more comfortable with one single robe color for the graduating class.

“I personally identify as female, that’s what I was assigned at birth but I’m very involved in the LGBT community-- I’m LGBT myself,” said Bradway. “We all attend the same classes, we all do the same tests, we all earn letter grades so its kind of silly to me.”

The group plans to go before the board to address the issue.

The students' graduation is scheduled for June 10.

“I’m really hoping that by pushing this, even if it doesn’t come through, letting students know that we want to address these issues and that we want to face them and that we’re not afraid to address these issues,” said senior, Michael Homar.

School system superintendent Brian Reas told NBC Connecticut while the conversation has yet to reach the board, he believes this is a topic that needs to be discussed.

The students have not set a date of when they’ll present their proposal.

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