Home' South Florida Gay News : SFGN 090617 Contents 4 • 9.6.2017
An Australian Catholic school allowed
two transgender students to choose
their own school uniforms to match
their gender identity.
"I saw one of them during the day and they
sort of gave me a thumbs up, so things seem
to be going okay," Principal Brother John Hilet
told Australian publication The Northern
Star. "I spoke to the second student before the
end of the day and they were very happy with
how everything had gone."
The Lismore school, Trinity Catholic
College, also welcomed the children to
change their names on the school register.
The option was allowed after the students
confided to their principal that they would
prefer to wear the male uniform. Hilet
told them he was open to allowing it, and
discussed the change with Bishop of Lismore
Greg Homeming and the Catholic Education
He told ABC News: "[The Bishop’s] response
to me was quite clearly that this is an issue of
wellbeing for these students. It is an issue of
being caring, compassionate and reaching out
and doing what we can to assist. I was very
happy that confirmed my feelings."
Once he got their approval, he let the
students know the good news.
"I said there may be comments, I can't
guarantee there won't be,” he told TNS. “For
some people it may be confronting; for other
people it'll be quite 'oh well, who cares.’”
That being said, he also told the two
students to come to him if they encountered
any bullying. To all students, he encouraged
them to follow “basic Catholic teaching” to
treat everyone with respect.
Hilet told ABC News he was “very quickly
moved by their level of trust, faith and
willingness to come forward and speak with
“They were moved at a very deep level
and at that point the only response I could
think of was to treat them with compassion
and reach out and do whatever I could to
assist,” he added. “One of the things I said
to the students was that it is a fundamental
Catholic teaching that all human beings
have an innate dignity that doesn’t derive
from anything other than the fact we are
human and made in the image and likeness
Hilet also wrote a letter to parents of the
college informing them of this allowance.
The letter stated:
“I will address the other students about
difference and respect and will point out
that it is essential as a Catholic community
we offer our full support to these students
and that any comments seen as targeting or
bullying these students will not be tolerated.
I ask that you also support these students in
any conversations you might have with your
All 60 responses were positive — with one
parent concerned about bathroom usage.
To solve this concern, the school allows
the two transgender students to use unisex
bathrooms typically restricted to staff.
In the future, Hilet claims the school is
looking into gender neutral uniforms and
more accessible unisex bathrooms.
"Invariably the responses have been
incredibly positive, thanking the college
for its openness and inclusiveness and
overwhelmingly supporting the idea of a
gender neutral uniform option," he said.
"The one that touched me most was a
mother who indicated one of her children
left the school about three years ago for
the same reason and at the time didn't feel
confident in coming to approach me and talk
to me about it. And that was sad."
australian catHolic scHool lets trans
students cHoose tHeir uniforms
trinity Catholic College.
Courtesy of Facebook.
overa year after the massacre that took
the lives of 49 people and injured 53
others, the nightclub where it all took
place is reopening.
Pulse nightclub owner Barbara Poma
told WFTV that she is looking for a new site
to open her nightclub, to “make sure hate
“Pulse is going to reopen [in a new place],”
she said, “By reopening it, same name, same
format that we had, it just proves, you know,
that hate will not win. We will not let him
Orlando Torres, a survivor of the attack,
agreed saying “It’s something to start new
memories, as we’ve created many memories
here at the old Pulse.”
Pulse nightclub faced the worst mass
shooting on U.S . soil in recent history on June
12 of last year. Many victims were members
of the LGBT and Latinx communities. The
site has been closed down ever since the
attack, with tributes placed outside the club.
pulse niGHtclub reopeninG in
The city attempted to buy the club and
turn it into a public memorial site, but Poma
rejected the bid so she could open her own
As for the original Pulse location, there
will be a town hall meeting in a few weeks to
decide what the memorial will become. “It
will be something other than a nightclub,”
said Poma. “Whatever structure, space, my
hope for it, is eternity.”
Links Archive SFGN 083017 SFGN 091317 Navigation Previous Page Next Page