Dad Sways Indiana School to Let Trans Child Graduate With Chosen Name

The principal intended to deadname Wyatt at the ceremony.

An Indiana high school that intended to deadname a transgender student at his upcoming graduation ceremony, based on an unwritten school standard, has reversed its decision.

Brian Thomas, the student’s father, launched a petition this week that received more than 14,000 signatures before victory was declared.

The petition, addressed to principal Park Ginder at Homestead High School in Fort Wayne, requested that the teen’s chosen and preferred name, Wyatt, be read aloud at graduation as opposed to his deadname, which he has not used for years.

“My transgender child is a senior this year and will graduate in early June,” Thomas wrote. “He has been going by his preferred name since the summer between his freshman and sophomore year. 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.”

“The school has agreed to call him Wyatt at graduation. They are also trying to get the name into his diploma,” Thomas confirmed Friday on “According to Dr. Ginder, he has been called Wyatt for three years, so why not 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,” he continues. “The impact of your support, encouraging words and positive vibes has been felt and received with astounded gratitude. On to graduation!”

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