School Just Started And They’re Already Banning “Gay” T-Shirts

Hoover High School student Sara Couvillon wanted to wear a shirt that said, “Gay? Fine By Me.” The school said that wearing it could put Couvillon’s safety at risk (even though she wore it plenty of times without any problems the year before). And even if a student did start trouble over her shirt, why not punish that student instead of denying Couvillon her right to free speech? So naturally the Southern Poverty Law Center has threatened the school with legal action. We’d be more interested if we hadn’t heard this tale before:

You’ve heard this school-bans-shirt story many times over with the following slogans: “Marriage is so Gay,” “Proud to be a Lesbian,” “I <3 Lady GayGay,” “Some Kids Are Gay… Get Over It,” as well as anti-gay shirts bearing slogans like “Be Happy, Not Gay” and “Straight Pride.” And in most cases the school usually sides with the gay shirts and isn’t sure what to do about the anti-gay ones.

Via Towleroad

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  • Chelsea

    Dear Sara Couvillon,

    What your high school did is not ‘fine by me.’ I’m proud of you, support you, and will wear a similar shirt to my first day of classes.

    Best wishes,

  • slanty

    The way she phrased it, it’s like she’s asking other girls to have sex with her. There must be a better slogan.

  • MBear

    If wearing a shirt that’s as non-offensive as that would put her at risk, they are admitting they have no control over the homophobic violent vermin that inhabit their hallways…Wow

  • EmmaMTF

    What is TRULY offensive is the lack of capitalization in that slogan. And the school had nothing to say about that, I suppose.

  • phallus

    My ex-partner and I went to high school together. He used to wear t-shirts like that. He was always getting picked on until the school principal took US aside and asked that HE tone done the “gay comment” t-shirts and wifebeaters. At my urging he stopped wearing them to school and the principal and other students left him (us) alone. Imagine that!
    You’re naturally going to get attention no matter what type of controversal clothing you wear.. gay themed or not… unless you go to an all gay school.

  • Jakey

    @phallus: “At my urging he stopped wearing them to school and the principal and other students left him (us) alone. Imagine that!”

    And what, that’s supposed to be a happy ending? I mean, do what you gotta do to survive high school, but please don’t pretend this was a good thing.

  • Lin Wong

    @EmmaMTF: Thank you. I hope every English teacher used that shirt as a lesson.

  • Sara Couvillon

    @Chelsea: Hey Chelsea! Thanks! Tons of horrible comments though on Ignorant people don’t know that there is a difference between sex and sexuality.

  • alan Balehead

    She’s just looking for attention and causing the usual commotion mediocres do….

  • alan Balehead

    If she didn’t bring one for every student to wear..then she is just looking for the same cheap self attention and an Ellen appearence…do more than just cause a commotion….

  • Sara Couvillon

    I actually did it to give a voice to people. I live in a baptist state.. So Do you honestly think I wanted to hear all that negative cometary? I’ve been called fat and been told I’m on drugs on certain websites. I didn’t want the attention. I actually almost didn’t even agree to a press release. I did it because things like this give others the courage to stick up for themselves and be who they are. I also did’nt do it for money. There was no law suit, and even if there was. It would be Federal court.. Which does not involve me getting any cash settlements.

  • Jim Hlavac

    Any American has the right to wear any friggin’ t-shirt he or she desires. Anything else is just an attack upon us — I’m tired of it, very tired. For 35 years I’ve listened to this crap — and I’m tired, but not enervated – for my energy is all the more riled up. And yet, the fight must go on. I will not relent. Ever. Screw ’em — let the court suits unfold. And let the heteros get over it — I’m tired of those people! So very tired.

  • Amber J.

    The same people who take offense to this shirt are the SAME people who defend Westboro Church telling gay people “die in hell faggots!” with signs and bells. THAT they argue is complete freedom of speech. You’ll even see bigots (trolls) on this site argue a kid who goes to school wearing a shirt that reads “homosexuality is a sin” is completely allowed to do so do to 1st amendment rights. Then they see a PRO GAY shirt like this and cry foul. Bigots do visit this site too and will tell you from here to eternity that they are gay, gay, gay but then sell you on the idea of why everything pro gay is bad, bad, bad. Spot a troll and know your audience.

  • Max

    Sara, you are beautiful, kind, loving and open minded. You are the exact kind of spirit this country needs…forward thinking, all embracing and open minded. PROMOTE your message and fight the good fight.

    Don’t listen to any comments doubting your integrity on here. They are not from gay individuals. This place is a cesspool of trolls….anti gay trolls who consitently and constantly side with the hate mongers. As a poster above noted, they lie about being a member of the gay community while making anti gay remarks. It’s nothing new. But just wanted to be sure you knew these were NOT members of the LGBT community. A community more commited to standing up for our rights than any time ever before. You are a pioneer and so many in the gay community applaud and thank you!

  • Jo Jo

    @phallus: You’re an idiot. Congrats for telling your partner to strip away his inherent rights all to please the comfort of others. Great point you got across there-barf- and something about your whole described incident sounds far too far fetched to believe. Me thinks he you got dumped and are still bitter?

  • SteveinATL


    Sorry. I have trouble believing a single word of your story and what you wrote. Sounds like a calculating attempt at telling pro gay allies and members to be silent in the wake of taunting. For you to actually pretend, and make us believe your pretense of taunting completely stopping by all accounts in school as soon as a gay kid doesn’t wear gay slogans on their shirt shows the con artist you are. You either need to be more educated on the topic, or you need more education.

    Bullying toward gay students has absolutely nothing to do with explicit slogans on shirts and occurs by the shere presence of those gay kids being in school. That needs combating and any voice that’s willing to vocally support their gay friends and gay community gets a standing ovation from me. That includes this young, beautiful brave girl.

  • Rocky

    @Amber J.: To be perfectly honest in my opinion neither shirt should be worn to school. If you want to wear religious shirts go to a religious school-if you want to wear pro gay shirts go to a gay school. I don’t think anything should be promoted in public school at all. I actually think all schools should have uniforms.

  • Steve

    Civil rights have historically been won by peaceful, nonviolent, confrontation. The ones who resort to force or violence, lose. Minority persons who are able to confront the majority and explain why the discrimination is wrong, without resorting to violence, win. Students and clergy have traditionally played a major role, as working adults usually cannot risk confrontation of a majority that includes their employers.

    The notion that gay is “ok”, is a new idea to many conservative straight people. “Gay? OK” and similar slogans, push them to have thoughts that feel like confrontation. The only serious risk in that kind of confrontation is the risk that some might respond to those feelings by attacking the messenger with violence. In a school environment, the violent attack is the thing that should be prohibited, not the nonviolent speech.

    Of course, speech that interferes with instruction, such as speaking out-of-turn in class, can be regulated. Some school administrators have claimed that slogans on t-shirts do interfere with instruction, and some schools do prohibit all printed t-shirts. If they prohibit _all_ printed t-shirts, the policy is usually upheld. If they prohibit only certain messages but allow others, the policy is usually overturned.

    I get the impression that Sara’s school has prohibited only certain messages.

    Go for it Sara. By taking the nonviolent confrontation to the next level, you are having an effect far beyond the small number of students and teachers at that school. Any media coverage will get a far larger number of people to think, and to feel confronted.

  • Carl

    @Slanty – I’d love to know how in your world a shirt proclaiming she has no objection to homosexuality translates to asking other girls to have sex with her – I suppose you think saying “I like heavy metal” translates into “I want to have sex with every member of every metal band ever”.

    @Sara – you are a wonderful person, ignore the haters and those who insult you: you are a beautiful young woman with an open heart and mind, putting you leagues ahead of others.

  • Yvonne M

    @Sara Couvillon: I understand completely and comment you for your ability to be who you are and support what you want. This is what America is supposed to be about. But there will always be the bigots that want their ‘agenda’ to be heard loud and clear but can’t understand why we’d want freedom of speech too. I’m a 45 year old mother of a gay daughter and I wear stuff like that all the time. At guess at my age I don’t care what the a&& hats think! More power to ya!

  • Robert

    @slanty: How so?

  • Roana


    Huh? Are you joking?

  • Kayla Bryce

    how can a person be so cruel and say i don’t like you because your gay….that’s just awful

  • Cody W. Marchand

    you know our high school tried to band memorial or Native Pride clothing from our school but the student body and the community fought back because telling us we aren’t allowed to show our pride was against our sovereign rights. i’m not sure how other schools do it but here our high school is on the reservation and we do have different minorities that attend our high school so we won. of course there were a bunch of haters that were going around after they dropped the band running around yelling white pride/white power/etc. but that was brought up as a whole different thing because them words mean something TOTALLY different than what we were fighting for. i hope that one day her school drops their band and these students can show their support for equal rights.

  • Kendall

    @slanty: Ummm… what? The way who phrased what? The shirt? You think the shirt is asking girls to have sex? What ass did you pull that from?

  • Laura

    @Sara Couvillon:

    Well said, Sara. Ignore the anonymous trolly hate-filled types on the Internet, as much as you can (or speak out about it, if you can!) and know that there are many, many kids out there who see people like yourself championing the cause, and that this can be life-changing for them. It’s so important that we all keep fighting against intolerance, hatred and bigotry and show support and solidarity, regardless of sexual orientation.

    Thank you for fighting the good fight. xx

  • Josh Mabry

    @Sara Couvillon:
    Thank you, you are amazing person. Keep up the good work. I f you help at least one person it will be worth it.

  • Eddie

    @MBear: true………haha so true

  • phallus

    @JoJo, I didn’t strip away my ex-partner’s inherent rights (as you put it). There was a lot more concerns as he had been harassed and punched a couple times on his way home from school. I “urged” him to stop wearing the t’s… and some weren’t even “gay themed”……, and ONLY the hateful comments directed towards his t’s stopped….. he still was harassed. BTW, neither of us “got” dumped.. we are still good friends today.
    @SteveinATL: Personally I don’t care what you and JOJO believe, I’m like others on this board telling my personal experiences and opinions.. I’m not telling anyone including Sara what she should do. I don’t know how you think my ex BF and I are any different from anyone else… we were taunted everyday in or out of school. By not wearing the gay t’s that was ONE less thing he was taunted about. We were going to school to get an education to better ourselves to have to live and work in a predominately HETERO world.
    It’s unfortuate was has happened to Sara, but you seem to be just as bitter and hateful to people expressing their opinions on this board as some that are giving her grief…. But then again JMO

  • Alma

    @Jim Hlavac:

    I just can’t help but agree with you.

    What’s wrong with wearing a tee that you like and are comfortable in?

  • Avenger

    Sara, who appointed you Mother Theresa? I hate self-righteous types who decide to take it upon themselves to butt in and make a “statement.” Just do your fucking homework and keep your mouth closed…and that includes those ridiculous “messages” on your shirt.

  • Dave

    Thank you Sara–your gesture was brave and kind, and the world needs as much of that as it can get. “Small” acts like your choice to wear a shirt bearing a message of tolerance become “big” news items precisely because there are still so many who have never been forced to question their hatred, and comments like Avenger’s above show just how necessary it still is for folks to publicly reject bigoted, hateful thinking regardless of the group it’s aimed at.

    I am truly grateful that there are still people like you in the world.


  • Eric

    @Avenger: Butting in to make a statement about butting in to make a statement, eh? Oooooo, so meta! And you still managed to use your unique gifts to put your own spin on it: Whereas Sara’s message was aimed at a broad multi-generational audience, yours is aimed at one specific high-school-aged young woman; while Sara had the courage to state her beliefs publicly you chose to crab on the Internet; while Sara’s message is a positive message of tolerance yours attacks a young woman for having the audacity to offend you by speaking her mind; and whereas Sara’s message reveals her concern for the welfare of others, yours reveals you to be capable of being a really selfish prick. But hey, don’t be too upset about that last part. We all have worth and value in this world; yours just happens to be making pricks who have balls and refrain from whining look good by comparison.

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