ALLEN (CBSDFW.COM) – A transgender Allen High School senior said he’s fighting his school’s decision to use his birth name at his graduation ceremony instead of the name he identifies with.
Jay Alfie started transitioning from a girl to a boy his freshman year. That’s when he said he changed his name from Hannah to Jay.
Alfie said a few months ago he checked with school administrators to make sure that name would be called at his graduation ceremony. He said he was told the ceremony coordinator said that wouldn’t be possible.
“They told me that it wasn’t possible because it had to be legally changed,” said Alfie.
Alfie’s parents said they’re in the process of doing that right now. Alfie doesn’t mind if his birth name is printed on the diploma. He said that can be changed later.
He just wants Jay be called when he walks across the stage.
“Everybody knows me as Jay, and I don’t want to go to my ceremony to be called down by the wrong thing,” said Alfie. “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. “What are we talking about here, 10 seconds? But it’s probably one of the 10 most important seconds of his life.”
Last Friday, Alfie’s sister created a petition on MoveOn.org, asking people to sign in support of her brother. So far, she’s received almost 2,000 signatures — many of them Alfie’s classmates.
“They’re like ‘you deserve to be respected,'” said Jay Alfie.
“Just say his name,” said Isabella Alfie. “I don’t know why it’s a big deal.”
Alfie’s parents said they have a meeting planned with staff at the school on Wednesday to discuss this issue. The high school graduation ceremony takes place next Friday.
A spokesperson for Allen ISD is working on a response to this story.