A Fort Wayne, Ind., high school had intended to deadname a trans student at his graduation based on an unwritten school standard. But following a Change.org petition that garnered more than 14,000 signatures, the school has said it intends to call the student by his preferred name, Wyatt, and is seeking to change the name on his diploma, Wyatt’s dad, Brian Thomas, wrote on Change.org and confirmed with The Advocate Friday.
“I’ve been amazed at the traction our petition gained. Overwhelmed,” Thomas told The Advocate in a Facebook message.
The petition, addressed to Homestead High School Principal Park Ginder, requested that the student’s preferred name, Wyatt, be read at graduation as opposed to his deadname, which the teen has not used since prior to the summer between his freshman and sophomore years.
Within days of its launching, the petition quickly surpassed its goal of gathering 5,000 signatures and reached 14,000 before Thomas declared victory on the Change.org page:
“The school has agreed to call him Wyatt at graduation. They are also trying to get the name into his diploma. Wyatt will find out through his high school counselor at some point today. According to Dr. Ginder, he has been called Wyatt for three years, so why not at graduation? This has been a matter of purposeful discussion and careful consideration on the part of the school, and a procedural decision has been made that benefits Wyatt. We are grateful the school took this request seriously and gave it the attention it deserves.”
“Thank you to all who signed this petition. The impact of your support, encouraging words, and positive vibes has been felt and received with astounded gratitude,” Thomas continued. “On to graduation!”