ALBUQURQUE (KRQE) - A Saint Pius senior was born a girl, but refuses to go graduate in a girl's gown.
The Catholic school says too bad.
At the Saint Pius High School graduation ceremony, the girls wear white gowns and the boys wear black.
It is school policy and Saint Pius insists Damian is a girl.
"I just want to walk in my black robe, nice and proud and have that memory to look back on with my family and friends," said Damian Garcia. "I would rather not walk than to embarrass myself by wearing a female robe."
Damian Garcia was born Brandi Garcia, but identifies as a male even having a legal name-change last year.
Fellow students, teachers and faculty call Garcia "Damian" and so does Damian's family.
"I look at him and I call him my son. That's how he wishes to be acknowledged is as a male," said father Luis Garcia.
The Saint Pius Superintendent tells KRQE News 13, Saint Pius goes by what the student's birth certificate says if there's any question on what gender-color they wear at graduation.
Despite the name change, Damian's birth certificate says "female."
Damian's father calls the school's decision heartbreaking.
"All you want in life is to see your kids happy and healthy. You never want to see them suffer or being ridiculed or be made fun of," Luis said.
The Garcias say they're not expecting the school to change policy by next week, but hope the school would consider eventually having all students wear the same colored gowns to avoid the situation all together.
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