Damian may not attend his own graduation on May 22nd because the school's refusal to allow him to wear a black robe, the color traditionally worn by male students. The school so far has rejected Damian's offer that he wear no robe and have stuck with their demand that he wear a white robe, the color worn by female graduates.
The first rally is on Sunday May 19th where you can meet two of youngest LGBT allies I have have ever had the pleasure of writing about, William and Phynn Moorman their parents and of course, Damian Garcia.
MEDIA ADVISORY [via moveon.org]
Torrey Moorman: firstname.lastname@example.org
*** Event held at Sombra Del Monte Elementary School on May 19 at 3 pm***
Albuquerque Residents Stand Up in Support of Transgender St. Pius X High School Student Student Damian Garcia
Over 7000 people sign petition of support for Damian to be able to wear male graduation robes
Local residents will gather to deliver a petition to Damian Garcia requesting Principal Barbara Rothweil, PhD and the Diocese to allow Damian to wear black cap and gown for graduation.
Forcing Damian to wear the girl’s white cap and gown is demoralizing, and many question the legality of such a demand. Allowing Damian to graduate in black cap and gown will show support for Damian as a student of a respectable and nurturing school environment.
Participants in the event will include William and Phynn Moorman, who created the petition, and Damian Garcia.
WHAT: Official delivery of petition to Damian Garcia, and Principal Barbara Rothweil, PhD if she will please join us.
WHO: Local Albuquerque residents and St. Pius X students and alumni
WHERE: Sombra del Monte Elementary School, corner of Candelaria and Moon, Albuquerque, NM. Google map
WHEN: 3pm on May 19, 2013
Please bring signs and posters with "Let Damian Walk"
To read the petition Click Here.
Facebook link: Click Here
Link to Archdiocese: Click Here
Update 5/20/13 Video from this event:
The second event is scheduled for Monday May 20th
From the Facebook event "Let Damian Walk In Black"
When: May 20th 7:00am until 1:00pm. The Organizers say 5 minutes or the whole day, all support is welcome.
Where: St. Pius X High School Albuquerque, NM Google Map
From the event facebook event
Members and supporters of the LGBT community,
We come to you not only as friends but as FAMILY to help a brother in need. Damian Garcia our transgender brother attends St. Pius X High School here in Albuquerque. While attending St. Pius. teachers, staff and friends including his own family members refer to Damian as a male student. As we all know, graduation is just around the corner, which is to most a time of celebrating ones academic and extracurricular achievements. However, for Damian this moment of academic excellence hangs in the balance between embarrassment and joyous celebration. According to St. Pius' standards, Damian must wear a white robe, which is traditionally worn by female graduates. Now my question to you is this: What's more important? The gender wriiten on a birth certificate or who that person is during HIS everyday life? We say let the kid WALK IN BLACK... It's HIS day to sparkle.
P.s: Please no parking in St.Pius parking lot we can not guarantee that you will be allowed to stay parked there.
Damian commented on the facebook event page:
Damian will not be allowed to walk in a males black robe May 22nd even though he has legally changed his name. Saint Pius High School is demanding that he wear in a female white robe because he has not had medical surgery altering his chest to present a male appearance, the prerequisite to changing the gender on his birth certificate in New Mexico.
Some state still demand unnecessary medial intervention for physiological issues before allowing their citizens to pursue a life guaranteed by the constitution.
New Mexico will produce a new birth certificate, with both name and sex changed, and seal the old birth certificate. However, a letter from a surgeon documenting Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) is necessary, prohibiting those who cannot afford or do not desire SRS from amending their birth certificates. Female to Male SRS can cost between $12,000 and $20,000 in addition to years of costly therapy and hormone replacement therapy(HRT)before SRS can be considered.
Two unrelated children, Will 8 and sibling Phynn 12, were so upset after viewing the KRQE news report about the way Saint Pius High School is treating Damian they "refused to go to bed until our mom agreed to help us fix this". So together with mom they began a facebook page "Let Damian Walk and started the Move on petition "Let Damian walk for graduation in male cap and gown" which had 9,000 signatures as of this posting.
Note to school administrators. Will and Phynn are your future students or not, in the case of private institutions like Saint Pius High School with open bias against LGBT minorities.
Principal Barbara M. Rothweiler's welcoming letter states her school is geared towards furthering students education and that 98% of her students go on to university. Her selling point is substituted by pointing out that "Some of our recent graduates can be found at Harvard, NYU, Stanford, Notre Dame, and Brown."
Out of all of those schools Principal Rothweiler so proudly listed only Notre Dame does not include LGBT inclusive clauses. The other top 20 universities do. When students and parents shop for preparatory schools like Saint Pius High School, LGBT inclusiveness is a major indicator of the quality of education they will receive their regardless is they are LGBT or not. Discrimination against any minority is not acceptable.