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Teen got school to change its plan to deadname him at graduation at the last minute

graduation ceremony
Photo: Shutterstock

An Indiana transgender teen who almost decided not to go to his own graduation ceremony because he was going to be deadnamed was able to get his high school to reverse its decision at the last minute.

Bradley Curry, 18, has been out as transgender since he was 12-years-old and has gone by his first name at school ever since. So he was saddened to find out several weeks ago that Boonville High School principal Mike Whitten was going to use his deadname at the graduation ceremony.

Related: A principal frantically tried cutting off a queer student’s graduation speech. It didn’t work.

“I will be unable to attend graduation simply because of the principal’s personal feelings against referring to trans people by their names,” Curry wrote on Facebook at the time.

He said that he and his parents were trying to convince the school to use his first name but that Whitten’s “own personal biases” were keeping him from doing that.

Curry wrote about the situation on social media and got support from people all over the country, and Curry and his father Jeremy Curry submitted a written request to Warrick County School Corporation superintendent Todd Lambert to overturn the principal’s decision.

Last Friday, just before graduation this weekend, Jeremy Curry told The Advocate that Lambert said that the school reversed its decision.

“The school has agreed to meet our requests,” he said. “Graduation is tomorrow.”

While the program for the graduation ceremony had Bradley’s deadname, the announcer said his actual name.

“I can only assume that they were printed well prior to any decision that was made,” the father said. “I feel like this battle was unnecessary and brought attention to us that we didn’t desire.”

“We are proud [of him], and Bradley is excited to move on with the next stage of life.”

The father explained that he couldn’t get any information from the school principal, so he felt that they had to go to the superintendent.

Boonville is in southwestern Indiana, near the border with Kentucky, one of the more conservative parts of the red state. Curry’s father said that he’s there to advocate for his son.

“I know this isn’t the easiest road to travel in life, but I am with him,” he said.

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