A transgender teen is fighting his high school’s decision to deadname him at his graduation in Allen, Texas, a suburb of Dallas.
Jay Alfie is set to graduate from Allen High School and wanted to make sure that the name he has been known by since he started transitioning in freshman year will be the one called out as he crosses the stage to receive his diploma. So he went to school administrators to make sure.
“They told me that it wasn’t possible because it had to be legally changed,” he told CBS21.
His parents said they’re in the process of doing just that, and Alfie said he doesn’t mind if his birth name is printed on the diploma, since it can be changed later. But he does object to being referred to by his former name.
“Everybody knows me as Jay, and I don’t want to go to my last day of high school, my ceremony to be called down by the wrong thing,” he said. “I’m not getting recognized for all the success that I’ve made, all the grades that I’ve made, and all these things that I’ve accomplished.”
“It makes me feel sad that they’re not going to allow him to enjoy that last moment,” said Jorge Alfie, his father. “What are we talking about here, 10 seconds? But it’s probably one of the 10 most important seconds of his life.”
His sister has created a MoveOn.org petition in support of her brother’s cause. At time of writing, it has received nearly 4,000 signatures.
“Every young person’s identity as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer should be honored, celebrated and supported. Allen High School should respect Jay Alfie’s identity and recognize him by his chosen name. To ’deadname’ a student as they cross the stage for graduation in front of their peers, friends, and family constitutes an act of abhorrent bullying and harassment,” Chuck Smith, CEO of Equality Texas, told NewNowNext.