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A Transwoman’s Greatest Gift: University President allowed her to dress up as a woman on her baccalaureate and graduation ceremonies

  • A transwoman graduating student was questioned by her teacher because of wearing female clothes for the ceremony
  • She stated in her letter that she is a transgender woman who had been wearing a female dress as a reflection of her gender identity
  • Jesuit priest Fr. Robert Rivera, who is the university president, allowed her to dress up as a woman during the baccalaureate and graduation ceremonies

By the end of the school year, graduating students are busy preparing for their graduation rites; especially fussing about what to wear during the ceremony.

But a transwoman graduating student was questioned by her teacher because of wearing female clothes for the ceremony.

Roman Giuseppe “Emma” Bueno, a transwoman student from Ateneo de Naga University posted his sentiment over a transphobic/homophobic teacher who called the attention of the graduation committee to question her wearing of female clothes for the baccalaureate mass and graduation day ceremonies; knowing that she had been doing these for two years.

https://twitter.com/Emmabueno_/status/1107941914156756992

So Emma came up with the decision to bring her concern to the university president by writing a formal letter. She stated in her letter that she is a transgender woman who had been wearing female clothes as a reflection of her gender identity, yet the graduation committee disapproved of her manner of dressing.

https://twitter.com/Emmabueno_/status/1106176240107638784

Appealing her issue, Jesuit priest Fr. Robert Rivera, who is also the university president, allowed her to dress up as a woman during the baccalaureate and graduation ceremonies. In her letter, she explained that forcing her to wear male clothes would make her feel  like a cross-dresser, because she really sees herself as a woman. And even her family, friends, peers, and the Ateneo Community had shown support of her gender identity.

https://twitter.com/Emmabueno_/status/1107947711758651392

We all know that some Catholic priests are against the credo of the LGBTQ community, but Fr. Robert is a lot more different than any other priest. He understood Emma’s sentiment to wear her desired clothing and by giving his recommendation, Emma received her greatest graduation gift.

https://twitter.com/Emmabueno_/status/1108031695687565312

“Emma, please present this letter if your clothing is questioned. Congratulations!” Fr. Robert wrote.

A note on her letter said that the university already has an “Anti-crossdressing policy that was approved by the OIC of the university in 2017. Since Emma has physically transitioned and has been dressing as a woman for two years, the university had allowed her request.

Her Twitter post received a lot of positive reactions and congratulated her, and acknowledged Fr. Robert for being understanding and open-minded to all LGBTQ community members.

https://twitter.com/PatrickGutier/status/1108198509344256000


Written by Rhelyn Harder

An open-minded person who seeks to inspire readers through writing. She believes that having the freedom and courage to express oneself is an opportunity to influence others.

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