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Gender neutral uniforms are becoming the new norm

Safiya Mehta-Woledge
Students able to choose between broader uniform options  NZHerald

Single sex schools are scrapping gendered uniforms and are offering up more choice for what students can wear.

Some Christchurch schools are introducing more gender neutral uniform options to cater to the diversifying student body. 

Many of the city's single sex schools, including Christchurch Girls' High and Avonside Girls High, have offered up a broader selection of pants, shorts and shirts to make students feel more themselves in their uniforms. 

These changes have been gradually introduced over the past two years, with Mainland Uniform representatives saying it is not only a new change but a popular one amongst customers.  

Christchurch Girls' High prefect, Alfie Smeele, says that having more choice makes queer students feel safer and more recognised within the community. 

"The uniform, now more than ever, gives us the chance to feel normal in our identity within our schools." 

The schools have worked closely with LGBTQIA+ students in creating these changes and building a more inclusive environment for young people as a whole. 

It brings many schools in line with some others, like St Margaret's College, which has offered a wardrobe of options to students for many years. 

However, not all schools are following suit, with one student saying that the taboos around sexuality and gender are halting progress in boys' schools. 

Christchurch Boys' High School student, Lucas Armstrong, has been pushing for the introduction of a skirt and a less gendered approach to the uniform. 

He says that progress in this area is slow and as of right now "there just isn't the groundwork for something as super cool as that." 

Metro News has contacted Christchurch Boys' High School for comment, and is awaiting response.