HOWLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A high school senior in Howland claims his principal is denying him the right to come out as being gay.
Zach Sides attends the Penobscot Valley High School. He says his principal told him a quote he wanted to put into the yearbook about "coming out of the closet" was offensive and did not want it to be published.
"It's no wonder I dress so well, I didn't spend all of my time in the closet for nothing."
That's the quote Penobscot Valley High School senior Zach Sides wanted to use in the yearbook before his principal shot it down.
"It's what she said and why it couldn't go in the yearbook that really troubles me," Sides said. "I think she meant basically changing my mind about being who I am."
According to Sides, when Principal Carol Marcinkus repeatedly told him she was "personally offended" by the quote and she did not like its "connotation," he was forced to go through another emotionally taxing experience: coming out to his parents.
"Honestly, I never really wanted to come out. I just wanted to bring home my boyfriend and be like this is who I like and this is who I want to be with and just hope that everyone was okay with it," Sides said.
Principal Marcinkus did not want to comment when asked but directed comments to the superintendent.
"That did not seem inappropriate to me at all … I thought it was in good humor [and] was in good taste," Superintendent Wright said. "What this has done is it has made us look at moving forward our policies and procedures and guidelines for determining yearbook quotes, what gets in and what doesn't."
Zach attributes staying strong through this to those who accept him.
"I have a lot of support and I have a lot of people who love me and I wouldn't change that for anything," Sides said.
Although Principal Marcinkus did not want to comment, Superintendent Wright said he did not think the quote was offensive and took care of the issue as soon as it crossed his desk.
Sides is planning on going to college once he graduates and hopes people are more accepting there.