Transgender student to speak at UC San Diego graduation ceremony

Posted at 9:31 AM, Jun 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-13 12:31:17-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A UC San Diego student will make history at this weekend’s graduation ceremony.

Lucero Felicita Camarena is transgender, and to say things have been challenging to this point would be an understatement.

“I just always knew I didn’t fit,” Camarena said.

She told 10News she was six years old before she could even utter a few words.

“I was very feminine, and I was very different from the start, and so I just did not speak whatsoever,” said Camarena.

Camarena is now graduating with a degree in global health and biochemistry. She is the first transgender woman to speak at the commencement ceremony.

She said she is “thrilled” for the opportunity to speak, and she’s also “processing so much about my responsibility on that stage, but also the privilege.”

“I’m just really thrilled to finally speak my truth in front of an audience,” Camarena added.

Now that she said she has found her voice, Camarena said it's fitting she use it to spread a message of acceptance and compassion.

“Being a transperson and the exclusion I’ve experienced and how I came to this point on my journey … I hope that I can inspire people to really deconstruct who they are,” she told 10News.

Camarena said she’s grateful to UC San Diego for allowing her to be her and for giving her the opportunity and -- literally -- the platform to hopefully inspire change.

“By really showing compassion for folks who are not like us and building bridges across difference,” said Camarena.