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Trans Student Fears Being Referred To By Deadname At Graduation Ceremony

Credit: Fox 5 Atlanta via YouTube

A trans student fears being referred to by his deadname at his school’s graduation ceremony. 

Soren Tucker, from Georgia, US, claims that Alan C Pope High School is refusing to use his correct name at the upcoming event, as only ‘legal names’ can be called out and written on diplomas. 

In an interview with Fox 5 Atlanta, the senior said it’s a ‘very important and personal’ step for him and is hoping school administrators will change their minds. 

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The trans student doesn’t see why his preferred name can’t be called out at the ceremony.

“I didn’t expect it to really get any attention outside of our school or even the county,” he told the news station. “In general for trans people, the name is something that’s very important because it’s very personal and it’s for many people, the first step towards sort of affirming your identity.”

He added: “We are not asking for any sort of change on a legal document, it’s simply the call list.”

Tucker then pointed out that the school had no problem using his preferred name on the yearbook and on awards. 

Having heard the senior’s story, a petition has been launched by fellow students, calling for the ruling to be changed. 

Its description reads: “At our high school, Alan C. Pope High School in Marietta, GA, the Administration is refusing to refer to transgender students by their names. 

“When asking to have his name read correctly while walking across the stage at graduation, senior Soren Tucker was refused outright. 

“Admin is only allowing ‘legal names’, on diplomas and on the call list for graduation (despite the call list being separate from the diplomas), meaning that Soren and other transgender students will be publicly deadnamed as they walk across the stage to receive their diplomas, a moment they’ve waited their whole lives for.”

So far, the petition has accumulated over 20,000 signatures, as many people are keen to show to their support.

However, the school has yet to clarify whether or not the ruling will change, although a brief statement has been released.

“For any student, for all official school business, our schools use our students’ legal names,” it reads. “If any student or family changes a student’s legal name, we update that student’s official record which impacts, among other examples, their schedules, transcripts, and diplomas.”

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Written by Aimee Walker

Aimee is a senior content editor at IGV who specialises in finding the best original stories, trending topics and entertainment news. She graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Media and Communications.