“It is with great sadness that I write to tell you about an outrageous and disgraceful event.” So begins a post by a young man by the name of Angus McCormack. A post that has so far attracted the support of more than 12,000 people in a single day.
The event that has the Facebook community rallying around Angus occurred last week at his former school, Bendigo’s Girton Grammar. As an alumnus, the captain of the class of 2013 and the son of a board member, the RMIT Student suited up to attend the school’s annual Foundation Day Service. But one look at Angus’ outfit and staff turned him away.
“Now, those who know me are fully aware that I am openly gay and very confident in my often “bold” choices of fashion,” Angus wrote on Facebook. “(I was originally considering rocking a dress and some killer heels!) However, I decided to “tone down” my appearance and be respectful to their wishes.”
The outfit he chose was this one.
"Upon my arrival at the Cathedral," writes Angus, "after greeting a lot of excited staff and students on my way in, I was approached by the deputy head at the aisle and without even greeting me she told me I was 'inappropriately dressed' and commanded that I '…leave the event'."
Angered, yet not wishing to cause a scene, Angus obliged. As did his father, who later resigned from Girton's board in protest.
Usually "bubbly and confident", Angus said the incident has been eating away at his confidence. But despite that, he remains determined to stand up to the haters.
"I am not only seeking fair treatment for myself, but I also want to fight for all those people out there who don’t have a voice, who don’t know who they are and who can’t openly express themselves," he wrote. "Its [sic] 2016! This kind of discrimination against any person regardless of their gender, race, sexual orientation or beliefs is just utterly appalling."
Since Angus post went up yesterday morning, he has been inundated with messages of support and gratitude, praising him for taking a stand.
The school, meanwhile, has dismissed claims Angus was discriminated against as "outrageous".
In a statement issued to the Bendigo Advertiser, headmaster Girton Grammar Matthew Maruff said, "Whilst this situation is regrettable, it is an issue of dress code for occasion and institution, not one of sexual discrimination.”
Maruff confirmed that a member of staff had informed that his attire was inappropriate for a guest of the official party.
“Angus may have felt that he had no choice but to leave,” he said. “His quick departure left no opportunity for an alternative outcome to be achieved."
Mamamia has contacted Angus for comment.