Demand that School Allow Transgender Student to Wear Appropriate Graduation Gown

Target: Susan Murphy, St. Pius X High School Superintendent

Goal: Allow transgender student to wear male robes even though his birth certificate still identifies him as female

A New Mexico high school is insisting that a transgender student, who identifies as male, must wear the female graduation gown or not walk at all. The tradition at the school is that women wear white gowns and men wear black gowns, and the school has stated that Damian Garcia must wear a white gown even though he identifies as male. Demand that St. Pius X High School allow Garcia to wear the cap and gown that expresses his correct gender identity.

Damian Garcia, who was born Brandi Garcia, identifies as male and had his name legally changed last year. Damian’s peers, teachers, faculty, and family call him Damian and also recognize him as male. His father, Luis Garcia, is in full support of Damian’s identity: “I look at him and I call him my son. That’s how he wishes to be acknowledged is as a male.” But the school is not. St. Pius X High School is a Catholic school in Albuquerque, New Mexico and has stringent and harsh rules about gender identification and homosexuality. The Superintendent of the school told a local news station that the cap and gown assignments are given based on the sex that is on the graduate’s birth certification, and that there are no exceptions. This is a form of persecution and discrimination.

Damian says that he would “rather not walk than to embarrass myself by wearing a female robe” and that he “just wants (sic) to walk in my black robe, nice and proud and have that memory to look back on with my family and friends”. High school graduation is a memorable moment, and for Damian to not walk because the policies of his school do not allow him to be himself is a travesty. Demand that St. Pius X High School allow Damian to walk in his gender-identified robes.


Dear Superintendent Murphy,

Recently you told a student, Damian Garcia, that he was not allowed to wear male-style graduation robes. You told him that he could not do so because his birth certificate identifies him as female. Damian identifies as a male and has had his name changed to reflect this. He says that he would rather not walk than face the embarrassment of wearing a robe that does not properly identify his gender.

To not allow Damian to wear male robes is a form of persecution and discrimination. You could easily allow Damian to wear black robes without harming anyone else. His peers, teachers, faculty, and family already identify him as male and are in support of his gender-expression. I demand that you allow Damian to wear male robes to his graduation ceremony.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Khaz via Flickr

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