Use of ‘lived names’ in graduation rites now under process, UPV org says

(Photo from UPV Facebook account)

By Joseph B.A. Marzan

UP Lipad, the University of the Philippines Visayas’ (UPV) organization of gender advocates, clarified on Wednesday that it was now facilitating for transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) students to be able to use their lived names to be called during the graduation ceremonies.

In their Facebook page on Tuesday, they stated that UPV Chancellor Clement Camposano had expressed approval and support to allow TGNC students using their lived names instead of their birth-assigned names during the graduation rites.

This would be done through an official request to be facilitated by the organization on behalf of all graduating students.

“On Monday, July 11, Chancellor Camposano reached out to UP LIPAD to communicate his approval and support towards our appeal to allow [TGNC] students to have their lived names used during the 2022 UP Visayas Graduation Rites. We celebrate this policy as a validation of the lived identities of our queer siblings and a steppingstone towards a safer space for people of all

SOGIESC,” they said in their statement.

“As per instructions from the Office of the Chancellor, in order for the lived names of TGNC students to be used during the graduation rites, they need only to express intent and consent through an official request,” they added.

The organization’s chairperson, Arvin Lauresta, told Daily Guardian that they were still trying to push using the lived name solely instead of using it together during the ceremonies.

Camposano had told Daily Guardian in a phone interview on Monday that the intention of using both names during the rites was to avoid legal complications if graduation ceremonies are formal events.

“We’re still trying to communicate our request to use solely the lived names of TGNC graduates, because our intention is to avoid ‘deadnaming’ them. However, according to the state of things and the information we have received so far, it appears that the administration favors using both lived and dead names and will probably go through with this,” he said.

The University of California defines the term “lived name” as “a self-chosen or personal and/or preferred professional name used instead of a legal name.” In gender-related parlance, it refers to the name chosen by transgendered persons during or after transitioning and may also be stated by GNC persons as their preferred name starting from a given point in time.

Deadnaming, on the other hand, refers to the use of a TGNC person’s old name or legal name prior to transitioning, mostly against their preferred lived name.

UPV was recently put in the spotlight after members of the university’s community slammed the procedures over TGNC students’ wearing of gender-affirming attire during the graduation ceremonies.