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Student Banned From Prom for Wearing Suit - So Strangers Stepped in to Make It Up to Them in the Best Way
Couple Throws Private Prom for Student Who Was Banned for Wearing a Suit
Uplifting News

Student Banned From Prom for Wearing Suit - So Strangers Stepped in to Make It Up to Them in the Best Way

When a post of B Hayes holding a sign outside prom went viral, the community stepped in to throw them a prom to celebrate the milestone.

Prom is supposed to be a special event for every student, but one Nashville, Tennessee high school senior was refused entry for wearing a suit rather than a dress.

B Hayes, an 18-year-old, non-binary student at Nashville Christian School, said the school’s dress code disallowed them from wearing the all-black suit they arrived in at the event.

Banned Student’s Post Goes Viral and Garners Support

person wearing a black suit and holding a sign

Hayes, who uses they/he pronouns, shared a photo of themselves standing outside the prom venue holding a sign that reads: “They wouldn’t let me in because I’m in a suit.”

The Instagram post caption reads: “My name is B Hayes. I'm 18 years old and i’ve been attending Nashville Christian School for 13 years. My senior prom was today and I wasn’t allowed in the doors because I was wearing a suit. I should not have to conform to femininity to attend my senior prom. I will not compromise who I am to fit in a box. Who are you to tell us what it means to be a woman?”

The post quickly went viral and garnered a lot of support for the teen.

Nashville Christian School provided a statement to NPR explaining that the school “has established dress requirements for daily school attendance and at our special events. All students and families are aware of and sign an agreement to these guidelines when they enroll.”

RELATED:Dad Organizes Surprise Prom For Daughter During Coronavirus Lockdown

“While we certainly respect a student’s right to disagree, all of our students know from our school handbook that when they do not follow such expectations at school-sponsored events, they may be asked to leave.”

The school’s 2022-2023 handbook states, “God created us as male or female, and we will live consistently with the gender God chose for us. These two different, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God.”

The handbook also forbids event-goers from taking a date of the same gender or sex.

“It’s been amazing to see so many people share, like and comment on my post. I never imagined it would get this amount of attention,” Hayes told the Washington Post in an email.

Local Businesses Plan Inclusive Prom

a couple standing on the road

The post was shared on a popular Instagram account called A Girl Has No President and caught the attention of Marcie Allen Van Mol, who owns AB Hillsboro Village, a live-music venue in Nashville, with her husband.

Van Mol, a stepparent to two teenage daughters, was heartbroken for the teen.

“You have an 18-year-old young adult who is trying to enjoy their last five weeks of their senior year and experience a prom as we all did,” she said. “That simple thing is a rite of passage.”

RELATED:7-Year-Old Boy Surprises His Babysitter With A Mini-Prom After Hers Was Cancelled

Her husband agreed and the pair wanted to help out. They decided to host a private prom at their venue to give Hayes and some friends a chance to celebrate the important milestone.

Van Mol went to social media to solicit support and people and small businesses immediately offered to pitch in for everything from décor and flowers to a photo booth to food.

Thousands Raised in Support of Teen

five people sitting on a bench

A GoFundMe page called “throw the ultimate prom for B” was started and it raised more than $26,000 on the first day. The amount has now reached $38,000.

To support small businesses while supporting Hayes, the money collected will be used to pay the small businesses that help put on the prom.

“The power of small businesses and how they lift up and support their communities is staggering,” Van Mol said.

Any additional funds they raise will go to Inclusion Tennessee and Oasis Center — two charities selected by Hayes that support LGBTQ rights.

The prom for Hayes is planned for May 6, and they will invite 25 friends to attend. R&B artist Tone Stith will put on a private performance.

RELATED: Modern Family’s Most Controversial Character May Be TV’s Most Important LGBTQ+ Ally

Hayes says they are grateful to have received so much support.

“Knowing that not only the Nashville community is behind me but people all over the country are supporting the issue is incredible to see,” they said in an email to the Washington Post.

“I hope the awareness can bring about positive change and that more students in the future feel strong enough to stand up for freedom of expression.”

Van Mol hopes that this starts a domino effect.

“We hope that cities and states and countries all watch this and see how one act of kindness can spawn thousands of acts of kindness,” she said. “We can fight hate with love.”

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