Case Studies

Commencement Ceremony and Gender Identity

Transgender Dentistry Graduate Overjoyed – “Mister’” Wasn’t Pronounced at Commencement Ceremony

Watcharapong Srimalai, DDS, or “Dr. Lalabelle,” 24, Chulalongkorn’s transgender dentistry graduate revealed how she felt overwhelmed by a sense of acceptance and equality when she was permitted to wear a female uniform attire and again when the legal title “mister” wasn’t pronounced at the commencement ceremony in the Chulalongkorn Auditorium.

Watcharapong officially appealed to wear a female uniform to receive her diploma of Doctor of Dental Surgery, second-class honors, and she was pleasantly surprised when the title “mister” was omitted from her name. After she expressed her gratitude via facebook, the post went viral and was praised by many people online.

The dentistry graduate said even though outsiders might view Chulalongkorn University as a conservative institution with strict, discriminating rules, what happened in the Chulalongkorn Auditorium proved otherwise.

While other transgenders might have to change multiple times, she was allowed to wear a uniform that corresponds with her gender and enjoy the day of celebration with her friends and family like her heterosexual friends. On top of that, the fact that the title “mister” wasn’t pronounced at the ceremony allowed her to feel formally accepted and acknowledged.

Original article: October 8, 2018