Catholic university president backs trans woman student who wants to wear female clothes during graduation 

Photo: Emmabueno_/Twitter
Photo: Emmabueno_/Twitter

This is the kind of acceptance the world needs.

Roman Giuseppe “Emma” F. Bueno of the Ateneo de Naga University shared a now-viral tweet on Tuesday about how she was overwhelmed when her university’s president allowed her, a graduating trans woman, to wear female clothes during their baccalaureate mass and graduation day.

She said in her tweet that she was questioned by one of the graduation committee professors about her intention to wear female clothes during the two events even though they reflect her gender identity as a trans woman.

This moved Bueno to write a personal letter to university president Fr. Roberto Exequiel N. Rivera S.J., asking him to allow her to wear women’s clothing.

“Personally, wearing clothes for male is the act that would make feel that I am crossdressing,” she said in the letter, adding that she has been taking prescribed transition medication for almost two years.

“I’m already transitioning physically and emotionally to [the] gender that I feel and recognize as what really I am,” she wrote.

She added that ever since she started transitioning, she received the support of her friends, family, and the Ateneo community.

Fr. Rivera approved her request and even wrote a personal handwritten message on the letter.

He said: “Emma, Pls. present this letter if your clothing is questioned. Congratulations!”

Bueno said in her tweet that Rivera’s response left her emotional, same as netizens who were moved by the gesture.

The tweet had over 19,000 likes and 2,500 retweets as of this article’s posting.

Twitter user @PatrickGutier wrote: “[I] hope there’ll come a time that no one would have to write the Fr. President to allow them to dress the way they want to. I’ve written letters to the Fr. Pres before and the bureaucracy is real! [L]ol but this was cool. [C]ongrats.”

@j0swa said: “Progressive! Congrats on your graduation.”

@FudgyScribbles said: “Fr. Robert Rivera is really an understanding and open minded Jesuit. Glad to know he is your University President. He deserves the position and you deserve to have a president like him. Best regards Fr. Rivera and congratulations Emma! All the best! Thanks for sharing this.”

@iamEmjayMalto wrote: “I’m proud of how brave you are. Keep on slayin’!!”

“I admire the courage you’ve shown. I am so proud of you momsh! CONGRATULATIONS!” wrote @RalphRobs.

“That’s such great news!! In this day and age, it’s extremely difficult to fight for equality and representation. Proud of you!” said @teachersalt.

Earlier today, Bueno posted a photo of herself wearing a fierce olive green jumpsuit for her baccalaureate mass and recognition rites. She was also wearing a medal, which she got as an Achievement Awardee.

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