Male teachers in Spain are donning skirts as part of nationwide protests after a student was forced to see a psychologist for wearing his own skirt to school.
In a video posted to TikTok last year, 15-year-old Mikel Gómez said he had been removed from class after wearing a skirt to support women’s liberation and challenge gender norms.
In the viral video, Gómez said he was sent to a psychologist, who asked him whether he was transgender and identified as a woman. Gómez, who identifies as male, said he was told to wear pants and that he was later punished by his parents for the skirt.
Gómez’s video led to protests across Spain, with hundreds of male students wearing skirts to school on November 4, which is now considered “wear a skirt to school day,” PinkNews reports.
Students weren’t alone, however, with male teachers also joining them in protest, including high school teacher Jose Piñas, who tweeted that he “suffered persecution and insults for my sexual orientation in high school” while teachers “looked the other way.”
“I want to join the cause of the student, Mikel, who has been expelled and sent to the psychologist for going to class with a skirt,” Piñas said, sharing a photo of him wearing his skirt.
Hace 20años sufrí persecución e insultos xmi orientación sexual en el instituto en el q ahora soy profesor, muchs profes, miraron para otro lado. Quiero unirme a la causa del alumno, Mikel, q ha sido expulsado y enviado al psicólogo por ir a clase con falda. #LaRopaNoTieneGenero pic.twitter.com/5PEN9vityY
— Jose Piñas (@joxepinas) November 9, 2020
The movement — #LaRopaNoTieneGenero [clothes have no gender] — has only continued to grow since then.
Earlier this year, two male teachers, Manuel Ortega and Borja Velázquez of Virgen de Sacedón elementary school in Valladolid, opted to wear skirts to school throughout May.
Ortega and Velúquez made the decision in order to show support for a student who had been subjected to homophobic slurs, El Pais reports.
“A school that educates with respect, diversity, co-education and tolerance,” Velázquez tweeted. “Dress how you want! We join the campaign #clotheshavenogender.”
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
Students in Galicia, in the northwest of Spain, are also staging monthly protests to further highlight the cause, with both male and female students wearing skirts on the 4th of each month.
Lía Menduíña Otero, a student and one of the movement’s promoters, told Público that the initial November protest “could not be forgotten and had to continue.”
Now multiple institutions are participating, with both students and teachers pushing for reforms to ensure that no one is punished for their clothing.
While some parents have been resistant to the protests, student Iria Estévez said that, despite it seeming “wrong for a woman to wear men’s clothes, or the other way around…in general they support us.”
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