A number of male teachers across Spain are coming in to school wearing skirts as a form of protest after a male student was expelled and sent to a psychologist for wearing a skirt last year.
This sparked the movement called #LaRopaNoTieneGenero or #ClothesHaveNoGender, which challenges gender stereotypes and fights against bullies.
In October last year, 15-year-old student Mikel Gómez from Bilbao was removed from class and sent to the school psychologist because he was wearing a skirt. After the incident, Gómez, who said he wore the skirt to promote gender equality, posted a video on TikTok describing what transpired and his video racked over two million views.
According to lgbtqnation.com, the school psychologist asked Gómez if he was transgender and identified as a woman. When he responded no, he was asked to wear pants instead. His parents also reportedly punished him for wearing a skirt.
A few weeks after the incident, male teachers and students came to school wearing skirts as a form of a protest with the battlecry #LaRopaNoTieneGenero.
Math teacher Jose Piñas posted on social media a photo of himself wearing a skirt and a face mask in school, and explained why it was important for him to support the movement.
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
“20 years ago, I suffered persecution and insults for my sexual orientation in the institute where I am now a teacher,” Piñas wrote in Spanish.
“Many teachers, they 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 (in) a skirt,” he said.
The movement became a national protest, some towns reportedly made it a recurring event every month.
Recently, teachers Manuel Ortega and Borja Velásquez of Virgen de Sacedon Primary went viral for coming in school wearing skirts, this time to stand up for a male student who was bullied and received homophobic slurs because he was wearing a sweatshirt with manga drawings.
Both teachers were alarmed about the incident and thought about teaching how “garments mean nothing and that everyone should dress however they want.”
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
According to an El Pais report, Ortega suggested the idea to wear a skirt to Velásquez, the school’s dean of studies. Both teachers supported the move since teachers are “references” in classes, to open a debate on tolerance and diversity. They wore skirts for a month to support the cause.
“A school that teaches respect, diversity, gender equality, and tolerance. Wear what you want,” Velásquez tweeted in Spanish.
Meanwhile, in the town of Bueu in Montevideo, students and teachers of Josen Carballeira Secondary Education Institute, have gathered every fourth of the month since November in protest against gender identity discrimination.
So far, change is taking shape as the school has agreed to implement a gender equality course, El Publico reported.
“They always tell us about the need to learn mathematics, history, language,” Lia Menduiña Otero told El Publico. “But not about something as important as equality, and not only about gender.”
Watch below some of the students who took part in the #LaRopaNoTieneGenero movement since last year:
Banner and thumbnail images from @borjamusico and @joxepinas on Twitter