A teenager who was expelled from her Christian school for celebrating her birthday with a rainbow cake says she was forced to come out by a right-wing magazine editor.
The girl celebrated her 15th birthday wearing a jumper with rainbow stripes on it and a multi-coloured rainbow cake.
Her mother posted a picture of her birthday celebrations on social media. She then received an email from the school’s principal saying her daughter was being expelled “immediately due to a post on social media”.
The picture with the rainbow cake and sweater “demonstrates a posture of morality and cultural acceptance contrary to that of Whitefield Academy’s beliefs,” the school said.
According to a lawsuit being filed by the girl’s parents, the school then went to the media – violating her privacy.
This resulted in an article being published by American Conservative, which the girl’s parents say outed her as LGBT+ without her consent.
The article included the girl’s Instagram posts – used without her permission, according to the lawsuit – that the author said “prove” she is bisexual or a lesbian.
The girl was not previously out to her parents and wasn’t ready to come out, the lawsuit says. Instead, she “has been forced to abruptly confront her identity” as a result of the American Conservative article.
Now, the parents of the 15-year-old girl are suing the school, for expelling her, and the magazine editor, for invading her privacy and forcing her to come out as LGBT+ as a result.
“[The girl] is a child who has been harassed and mistreated by a school that her parents paid and trusted to keep her safe,” the complaint says.
“The school went to the media to defend themselves,” Georgia Connally, a lawyer representing the girl’s parents, said.