A girl who believes she's a boy wants to wear a boy's graduation robe at her Catholic school graduation. The school is refusing. Outrage ensues.
You see, at St. Pius High school in Albuquerque the girls wear white gowns and the boys wear black. She wants to wear black. But the school is saying that on her birth certificate she's a girl so she'll be wearing white.
She insists that she even went so far as to change her name from Brandi to Damian. But the school believes changing one's name doesn't actually change someone from a girl into a boy.
KRQE reports on the story:
“I just want to walk in my black robe, nice and proud and have that memory to look back on with my family and friends,” said Damian Garcia. “I would rather not walk than to embarrass myself by wearing a female robe.”Look, I want kids to be happy on their graduation day. It's a big day for them. But a Catholic school just can't do this. Just can't. I feel bad for the young woman. I do. But her confusion about herself isn't a mandate for the rest of the world to ignore reality.
Damian Garcia was born Brandi Garcia, but identifies as a male even having a legal name-change last year.
Fellow students, teachers and faculty call Garcia "Damian" and so does Damian’s family.
“I look at him and I call him my son. That's how he wishes to be acknowledged is as a male,” said father Luis Garcia.
The Saint Pius Superintendent tells KRQE News 13, Saint Pius goes by what the student's birth certificate says if there's any question on what gender-color they wear at graduation.
Despite the name change, Damian's birth certificate says “female.”
Damian's father calls the school's decision heartbreaking.
“All you want in life is to see your kids happy and healthy. You never want to see them suffer or being ridiculed or be made fun of,” Luis said.
A gay advocacy faux Catholic group called New Ways Ministry has called the school's decision "ignorant and insensitive" and added that we should follow the example of the girl's father.
The school’s reasoning shows the problems that can occur when rules become more important than human beings and human reality. For officials to say that they cede all of their ability to make a judicious decision based on the birth certificate, and not the human and social reality with which they are faced, is ignorant and insensitive...
An important lesson to be learned from this story, too, is that parental love for a child can often lead the way for the rest of the church to learn how to love and accept transgender people and other sexual and gender minorities. The love of Damian’s parents, expressed by his father, is awe-inspiring, and reminds us of the unconditional love that God has for each of us. So often our Catholic faith reminds us that God loves each of us as a parent. It would be well for the officials at this Catholic school to learn a lesson from Damian’s parents on how to love and accept and treasure each student.