Male teachers in Spain have been donning skirts in the classroom in support of a student who had been expelled for wearing one. The Clothes Have No Gender movement, known as #laropanotienegenero on Twitter, was inspired by 15-year-old Mikel Gómez, who wore a skirt to his school in the Basque Country only to be told by his teacher to go see a psychologist. After Mikel made a TikTok to share his experience, so many people spoke out in support of the boy, including teachers Manuel Ortega, 37, and Borja Velazquez, 36.
Un cole que educa en el respeto, la diversidad, la coeducaión y la tolerancia. ¡Vístete como quieras! Nos sumamos a la inicitiva #LaRopaNoTieneGénero @CEIPVdeSacedon @educacyl @cfievalladolid @FTriangulo @fecylgtb pic.twitter.com/GgnoejXe2N
— Borja Velázquez (@borjamusico) April 29, 2021
- The teachers’ support means everything. “20 years ago I suffered persecution and insults for my sexual orientation in high school where I am now a teacher. Many teachers looked the other way,” teacher Jose Piñas recalled. “I want to join the cause of the student, Mikel, who was expelled and sent to a psychologist for going to class with a skirt.”
- Ortega and Velasquez wore skirts every day in may. The teachers, employed at Virgen de Sacedón primary school in Valladolid, according to El Pais, were horrified after hearing Mikel’s story and also witnessing one of their own students be subjected to homophobic abuse. “A school that educates with respect, diversity, co-education, and tolerance,” Velúquez tweeted on April 29. “Dress how you want! We join the campaign #clotheshavenogender.”
- Many have applauded the teachers for their support. The symbolism of their gesture will hopefully make a far-reaching impact, inspiring tolerance or even just encouraging conversation around acceptance, gender identity, and embracing students (and people in general) for who they are without malice or judgment.
No me daba tiempo a contarlo todo☠️#parati
Profesores por toda España se ponen falda para dar clase 😍 🌈
Un gesto que nos ha puesto los pelos de punta.
Fomentar el respeto entre el alumnado es el principal objetivo de estas acciones y acabar con el absurdo pensamiento de que la ropa tiene género #LaRopaNoTieneGenero pic.twitter.com/IyY0sysUAb
— banderaslgtb (@BanderasLGTB) May 27, 2021