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UP-Cebu allows all graduates to march wearing their preferred attire

The University of the Philippines – Cebu is allowing all its graduates to wear their preferred attires based on their lived identities in terms of sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression.

The University of the Philippines – Cebu is allowing all its graduates, starting on the 83rd Commencement Exercises (this year), to wear their preferred attires based on their lived identities in terms of sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression.

Photo by Joshua Mcknight from Pexels.com

This was shared via a Facebook post, which also stressed that “all graduates will not be obliged to conform to heteronormative standards” and that “there is also no need to ask permission from the administration or prepare a letter when doing so. As long as the graduation guidelines for academic costumes, such as color schemes and lengths, are still observed, graduating students may dress themselves how they see fit.”

This is supposed to ensure that “the graduating classes of academic years 2020, 2021, 2022 and beyond… culminate their journey in UPC wearing attires that stand for who they are, and not who they are expected to be.”

In the Philippines, educational institutions are allowed to prescribe uniform policies; often, these require people to only wear clothing stereotypically associated with the sex assigned at birth. This puts members of the LGBTQIA at a disadvantage, and could even lead to outright discrimination.

In Cebu in 2013, as an example – and even if the city already has an anti-discrimination ordinance – transgender people have complained about not being permitted to enroll or attend classes until they comply with school policies on prescribed haircut and uniform.

As it announced the new policy, UP-Cebu stated that the university is “home to a diverse student body full of people with different backgrounds and identities. Consequently, the institution recognizes this and is continuously trying to uphold a safe space where students can express themselves, truly and freely, up until they leave the school. Among these efforts is putting into practice the university’s ideals of freedom and diversity through recognizing and catering to the calls of its student body in expressing their genuine selves.”

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