Albuquerque | Catholic Church | New Mexico | News | Transgender

Catholic School Forcing Male Transgender Student to Wear Female Robe at Graduation: VIDEO

Garcia

An Albuquerque, New Mexico Catholic school is demanding that Damian Garcia, a trans student, wear a girl's gown to graduation. Damian was born Brandi Garcia but identifies as a male, had a name change last year, and is known as Damian to students, teachers, and his parents, but the Superintendent of Saint Pius insists he is a girl and must wear a white robe.

Damian's father is angry about the humiliating treatment, KRQE reports:

“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.

Says Damian: “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. I would rather not walk than to embarrass myself by wearing a female robe.”

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Graduation gown a problem for transgender student

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Comments

  1. Is Damian identifying as a male or legally a male? I think Damian should wear the robe designated for the proper legal sex. If Damian is not legally a male, then I don't see anything wrong with the Catholic School's request.

    Posted by: Keisha Kornbread | May 17, 2013 9:40:57 AM


  2. If you don't like bigotry, don't go to a Christian school. It's not rocket science.

    Posted by: Merv | May 17, 2013 9:45:28 AM


  3. You should probably read the article before you comment Keisha.

    Posted by: Shane V | May 17, 2013 9:45:44 AM


  4. I'm with Damien on this one. Why on earth would any parent send their child to a Catholic school in the first place? As long as the Catholic religion discriminates against any American citizen their tax exempt status should be revoked. Yes, let them have their prejudiced beliefs but the American taxpayer should not be forced to pay for it.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | May 17, 2013 9:47:05 AM


  5. Come on come on - nothing in the Bible address clothes or color. We as a society have got to get a handle on this or we will devour ourselves. Let the poor kid pick whatever he wants. There are bigger things to address in this world like on going Old Testament tornados, hurricanes, and famine.

    Posted by: robertL | May 17, 2013 9:50:26 AM


  6. Is the difference in what the students wear merely a black or white gown? This is just petty and mean of the superintendent.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | May 17, 2013 9:51:18 AM


  7. It's a religious based school. I mean c'mon,people.

    Posted by: ratbastard | May 17, 2013 9:51:26 AM


  8. Religion....ughhhh. In a loving world this kid should be able to pick up his diploma and stand proud. He is lucky that he has the support of his father.
    The Superintendent of Saint Pius school is just being mean. Ridiculous....and totally unnecessary.

    Posted by: excy | May 17, 2013 9:59:12 AM


  9. I feel for this student, but it is a Catholic school. It isn't like the family didn't know what they were getting into. We cannot have it both ways - we don't want to be told how to live or to have our lives unfairly judged, so we cannot judge either. Yes it is unfair, but this isn't a public school - it is a Catholic high school.

    Posted by: Christopher | May 17, 2013 10:03:58 AM


  10. Anyone saying he shouldn't go to the school misses the point. The school is offering services to the public and therein should not be allowed to discriminate based on gender identity. The New Mexico Human Rights Act, which covers public accommodations, includes protections for gender identity (and sexual orientation). This is illegal under New Mexico law, and the school knows or should know it.

    Furthermore, for those saying you get what you sign up for, that is not a fair assessment. It is very possible that this Catholic School provides a substantially better academic experience for students than the surrounding public schools. The parents might have sent Damian there because of the quality of education, not because they are Catholic. Should a student be forced to get a sub-par education simply because he identifies as transgender? No.

    Posted by: Mike8787 | May 17, 2013 10:06:04 AM


  11. Merv,

    I read the article. And my question still is not answered. Is Damian LEGALLY a male or female. If Damian is LEGALLY a male, then Damian should be allowed to wear a robe designated for males. DUH. Identifying as one thing does not make you exempt from the rules of an organization.

    Posted by: Keisha Kornbread | May 17, 2013 10:07:26 AM


  12. Is this the level to which teachers and school principals have sunk ?

    Does there now have to be an Inquisition into a young boy's sexuality just because he wants to wear the clothes he feels most secure wearing ?
    Teachers should be addressing more fundamental issues such as whether any pupil is bullied or ridiculed in any way because of his identity.
    The very idea of a school Principal making an issue of this is pathetic and says much more about the hang-ups of the teachers....
    So we now have educators (so called) stepping down into the pit of personal humiliation and belittling of sexual identity of kids who have been entrusted to their charge.
    Has the teaching profession sunk so low that it now bullies the most vulnerable kids instead of being out there supporting them and encouraging them in their struggle with what must be an emotional wrenching time in their lives.
    Has this school sunk so low that it has to take refuge behind the legal cloak of what the birth cert says ?
    From what I read above this school has lost its way.
    Shame on St.Pius School, shame ,shame,shame.


    Posted by: JackFknTwist | May 17, 2013 10:13:13 AM


  13. He should wear the black rode and walk in the graduation. If they want to call security, let them. At least he'll have his pride and remember that he didn't diminish himself by giving in.
    Just go, Damian.

    Posted by: woody | May 17, 2013 10:14:27 AM


  14. robertL - while I completely agree with your conclusion and support Damien in his choice to dress like the other male graduates, it's not true that the Bible doesn't address clothes. It's just one verse in Deuteronomy, but it's in there.

    And, since Damien is transgender, putting him in a "girl's" robe is forcing him to violate the Scripture verse, not enforcing it.

    It's a bit rich coming from a Catholic, though, given that their clergy and hierarchy don't exactly dress by the normal standards of gendered clothing today. And since the "robes" are identical except for color, it's a bit of a stretch to put some moral imperative on it. This is anti-trans harassment, pure and simple.

    Posted by: Lymis | May 17, 2013 10:14:32 AM


  15. Why on earth would any parent send their child to a Catholic school in the first place?
    Posted by: Mike Ryan

    Because many or most public schools are dangerous and don't deliver a good education. The kids in my family went to Catholic school (we aren't Catholic) or Quaker school (we haven't been Quaker in 300 years) because the DC public schools which were safe and excellent when my mother was a youth have been handed over to an ethnic base who won't learn and won't shut up so that other people can learn.

    Posted by: David Hearne | May 17, 2013 10:17:42 AM


  16. Sorry, but somebody needs to sit down these "transgenders" and read them the truth.

    No one cares what you think you are.
    We'll all play along to varying degrees, perhaps simply to get you to shut up.
    You can't force us to believe that you are a sex that you are not.
    If you are all hung up on clothes and hair and how you present, then maybe this really isn't all that important.

    Posted by: David Hearne | May 17, 2013 10:20:32 AM


  17. In cases of political corruption, etc., investigators are often told to "follow the money." This is not that different. Follow the satisfaction. If this petty superintendent was not deriving satisfaction from oppressing this poor boy- and delivering satisfaction to some others, people he no doubt wishes to please- it wouldn't be happening. The root of this is meanness, pure and simple, and part and parcel of the Roman Catholic Church's determination that it will grind people down who don't conform. But Damien will move on with his life- hurt, but not broken- and leave this hate-based, useless institution behind.

    Posted by: Steve | May 17, 2013 10:29:36 AM


  18. Hump. He should be allowed to wear any robe he wants! Something tells me that the idiot superintendent wears a white robe - with a pointed hood and scissor cut eyes.

    Posted by: Mike | May 17, 2013 10:33:19 AM


  19. "The Saint Pius Superintendent tells KRQE News 13, St Pius goes by what the student's birth certificate says if there's any question on what gender-color they wear at graduation."

    I love it! This clown would have people believe there's a time when they've consulted birth certificates before... Mary, puleeeze!

    Let the kids wear whatever they want, regardless of gender & problem is solved. So, that's what's really happening. The school thinks gender is about only genitals & not the brain & that they should be able to tell someone else what to think, feel, etc.

    Congrats, Damian! You'll soon see that the best thing about High School is that it is now, OVER!

    Posted by: Pete N SFO | May 17, 2013 10:33:20 AM


  20. @David Hearne,

    And to clarify, what you posted is especially true in urban areas. Catholic schools are a Godsend for parents [ALL kinds of parents, of all 'races', ethnicities, even religions] because they on average offer superior a education vs the average urban public school, are FAR safer for the students, and are generally much less expensive vs other private schools such as traditional prep schools. I grew up in NYC and Boston. The poor and most so-called working class sent their kids to dangerous and poorly preforming public schools [even though they were well funded, better funded than comparable Catholic schools]. So-called middle class people, if they could, sent their kids to a Catholic school [at least at the HS level] or attempted to get their kids into one of the few decent public schools that required an exam to get in [i.e. Boston Latin, etc.]. The truly privileged sent their kids to expensive private schools and prep schools, or to one of the very few good public schools which do exist in the better inner suburbs, such as Brookline in Boston, or Cambridge Rindge and Latin, which technically isn't in Boston but might as well be. If I had attended Boston public schools at the HS level, my assigned [by court ordered desegregation] would have been a state of the art HS located in a dangerous majority black neighborhood, which had notoriously poor educational standards and serious security issues. This even though TONS of $ was dumped into it, to make it a premier school. Decades and God knows how much $ later, it still s*cks and is still a dangerous school to attend. Students routinely brawl, stabbings even shooting are commonplace.

    Posted by: ratbastard | May 17, 2013 10:33:34 AM


  21. Better question: why do the girls and boys need different color robes to begin with????

    Posted by: Not that Rob | May 17, 2013 10:35:21 AM


  22. @ David Hearne:

    Are you deliberately obtuse ?
    Have you nothing better to do ?

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | May 17, 2013 10:39:52 AM


  23. Exactly. Where are there even different gowns, let alone colors?

    Posted by: Steve | May 17, 2013 10:41:08 AM


  24. "..., it's not true that the Bible doesn't address clothes. It's just one verse in Deuteronomy, but it's in there..."

    Uh...think you forgot to do something, pal;

    Like provide a citation.

    Kinda Importnt when you are citing The Book Of Crap as you are.

    Scholars do that.

    Trolls just ignore it and expect people to believe them. Which is why most Cath-olics are trolls.

    Posted by: William | May 17, 2013 10:42:42 AM


  25. "..., it's not true that the Bible doesn't address clothes. It's just one verse in Deuteronomy, but it's in there..."

    Uh...think you forgot to do something, pal;

    Like provide a citation.

    Kinda Importnt when you are citing The Book Of Crap as you are.

    Scholars do that.

    Trolls just ignore it and expect people to believe them. Which is why most Cath-olics are trolls.

    Posted by: William | May 17, 2013 10:42:43 AM


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