A university president grants a trans woman’s wish to wear her graduation dress

By CNN Philippines Staff

The president of the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Naga University (ADNU) has allowed a trans woman student to dress up as female on her graduation day. 

Emma Bueno wrote to ADNU President Roberto Exequiel Rivera to inform him that a professor on the university’s graduation committee told her that she was not allowed to dress up as a woman during the Baccalaureate Mass and the graduation rites.

“Personally, wearing clothes for male is the act that would make (me) feel like…I am crossdressing,” Bueno said. She added the was already transitioning physically and emotionally to the gender that she identifies with through medication with prescription for almost two years.

Transitioning is the period in which trans people live according to the gender they identify with.

In response to her request, Rivera said, “Please present this letter if your clothing is questioned. Congratulations!”

In tweets that have now gone viral, Bueno said Rivera’s approval of her request made her emotional.

“Didn’t expect he would positively respond to my letter … he even congratulated me!” she said.

A bill seeking to stop discrimination based on sex, gender identity, gender orientation and expression has been passed by the House of Representatives, but a similar bill has been stalled in the Senate.

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