A Texas high school yearbook has allegedly excluded a photo of two students from getting published because the girls in it are gay.
The photo shows Felicia Rivera, 16, holding and cuddling with her girlfriend Lialani Hernandez. At first glance, Rivera’s gender is ambiguous in the picture. According to Rivera, as soon as the teacher in charge of the yearbook found out Rivera and Hernandez were both female, she pulled it off the Valentine’s Day-themed page.
"It hurts," Rivera told the Daily News. "It really got to me.”
In response, she circulated a petition around Brennan High School -- which has gained nearly 300 signatures thus far -- to reinstate the photo on the Valentine’s Day page.
The school’s principal denies that the teacher pulled the photo because the couple are lesbians, and instead said that it showed “too much PDA,” despite the fact that other photos on the page show couples holding hands and guys with their arms around their girlfriends’ shoulders.
"It's just an intimate picture; there's no eye contact. They're both looking down. It looks like a pretty intimate moment," Pascual Gonzalez, a spokesperson for Northside School District, told the San Antonio Express- News. He explained the district welcomes all students and does not discriminate based on sexual orientation.
Rivera’s father has spoken up in regard to the incident and said he’s proud of his daughter for sticking up for herself.
"My daughter has never had a problem," he told the Daily News. "She's a real strong person."
Rivera’s father also asked the school if they’d publish a photo of the girls looking at the camera, but has not yet heard back.
"I could really care less now if the photo is in there," Rivera said, emphasizing that the photo getting published is not the problem. "It's just the reason they pulled it that upsets me."
Source: Daily News