A high school student is choosing not to walk in graduation with his friends, because his school wants the male-identifying student to wear a female robe because he is identified as female on his birth certificate.
Damian Garcia, a senior at St. Pius, says “I just want to have a happy graduation, and just walk in my black robe, nice and proud, and have a memory to look back on, you know, with my family and friends.” The school policy is for young men to wear black robes, and young ladies to wear white robes. If there is any question as to which color robe should be worn, the school turns to the child’s birth certificate.
Damian was born Brandi, but had a legal name change earlier this year. His teachers, friends, and family all consider him male and call him by Damian.
Damian’s family doubts that the school policy will be changed before their son’s graduation date, but they’re hoping that all students will wear the same color in the future, so that no other child is faced with this situation.
Damian says that he would rather not walk than embarrass himself by wearing a female robe.