The 24-year-old Brazilian student’s ensemble was a form of protest against the homophobia he says he experienced during his five years studying at the Instituto de Tecnologia da Aeronáutica (ITA), one of Brazil’s most prestigious engineering school that functions with the support of the country’s Air Force.
De Oliveira Faria’s shirt says “ITA Aeronáutica and its traditions” with bullet points that read: homophobia, racism, psychological violence and abuse of authority.
“Since my third year [at ITA], I knew that when I went to get my degree I would go wearing a dress,” de Oliveira Faria told Globo’s Ego website, translated from Portuguese by The Huffington Post.
“Since I was 12 years old, I always heard wonderful things about ITA,” he wrote on his page. “About how it was the best university in the country, the possibility of receiving money during graduation, and the amount of opportunities that would open up after graduating from the institution. ITA was my big dream. Little did I know it would be the biggest disappointment of my life.”
Following the ceremony, the student told Ego, the administration called a meeting with him to discuss his claims about homophobia. “They listened and told me that some of the claims I spoke about they were already discussing,” de Oliveira Faria said. “But I told them: ‘I don’t trust your work, I don’t think it will change anything.’ So I’m going to continue doing what I think I should do.”
Watch the moment de Oliveira Faria accepts his diploma in the video above.