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Dad’s campaign forces school to drop policy ‘humiliating’ transgender son

Nick Duffy May 11, 2019
Brian Thomas won a change for his transgender son Wyatt

Brian Thomas won a change for his transgender son Wyatt

An Indiana dad has claimed victory in his battle to stop his transgender son being deadnamed at his graduation.

Brian Thomas had launched a petition on Tuesday (May 7) after learning that Homestead High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana, was refusing to use his transgender son Wyatt’s chosen name at his graduation.

Wyatt transitioned three years ago, but school administrators had informed him that his birth name would be used at graduation.

Dad launched a petition in support of his transgender son

Thomas had explained: “Teachers, pastors, managers, family and friends know him as a boy named Wyatt.

“But at graduation, because of an unwritten standard the school administration is unwilling to change, he will be called by his dead name.

What is meant to be a celebration will instead be yet another moment of humiliation and embarrassment.

“As Wyatt’s parents, we ask that our wishes be honored on behalf of our precious child.

“Call the name he will bear legally once the lengthy process of a name change is complete. Call him what his future university calls him.

“Call him what we and many others call him every day. Call him Wyatt.”

School backs down after campaign

The petition to school principal Dr Park Ginder racked up more than 14,000 signatures, and apparently the pressure was enough to force the school to back down over the policy.

The proud dad confirmed on Friday (May 10) that the school had changed its mind.

Brian Thomas won a change for his transgender son Wyatt
Brian Thomas won a change for his transgender son Wyatt

He said: “The school has agreed to call him Wyatt at graduation.

“This has been a matter of purposeful discussion and careful consideration on the part of the school, and a procedural decision has been made that benefits Wyatt.

“We are grateful the school took this request seriously and gave it the attention it deserves.

“Thank you to all who signed this petition. The impact of your support, encouraging words and positive vibes has been felt and received with astounded gratitude. On to graduation!”

The school district confirmed: “Every organisation has policies, procedures, and guidelines that have historically served them well. However, no policy, procedure, or guideline is perfect or permanent.

“An organisation must be willing to listen and reevaluate its practices to ensure they continue to align with their broader mission, especially when the mission involves being a safe and open learning environment.”

Wyatt is set to graduate in early June.

Another school in Indiana came under fire in December after a Gay-Straight Alliance group was ordered to change its name and avoid using the terms “gay” and “LGBT+.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed the lawsuit against Leo Junior/Senior High School in Leo-Cedarville, Indiana, over the policy.

School administrators allegedly refused to permit the club name Leo Gay-Straight Alliance because it contains the word “gay.” The group was instead given the name Leo Pride Alliance by school administrators.

According to the lawsuit, staff also warned that the students “may not use the words gay, lesbian, queer, GSA [or] LGBT+… in any of the announcements or promotions for the club.”

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