A high school student named Andi Bernabe got a wonderful surprise on his 18th birthday, and the whole heartwarming scene was caught on video.
A group of the 12th grader’s friends threw him a little surprise party at school, but the real surprise was that they’d raised enough money for the transgender teen, who was assigned female at birth, to legally change his name to Andrew. After singing “Happy Birthday,” the teens presented Bernabe with an envelope full of cash, saying, “Since you’re a legal adult ... we kind of raised enough money for you to change your name.”
In a TikTok documenting the whole event, Bernabe is seen falling to the floor in joy and surprise, crying tears of happiness while he clutches the envelope. The moment has since gone viral with over 6 million views on Twitter and over 2 million on TikTok.
“It happened out of nowhere,” Bernabe tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I had no clue at all, not even hints.”
The Dallas-area high schooler says that while at school on his birthday earlier this month, a friend came and got him from a classroom and escorted him to the choir room saying there was a surprise waiting.
“They made this fake paper birth certificate and they all signed it,” Bernabe says of the piece of paper he’s handed in the video. “I obviously dropped down to the floor and started crying. It was overwhelming honestly, I couldn’t believe they actually did it, especially since it’s $300.
“I was planning on getting a job to pay for it, and just putting a little bit away every month,” Bernabe says of his previous plan to get the name-change money. In Texas, the filing fee for a name change is roughly $300.
In addition to the gift, Bernabe’s friends planned a little party in the choir room, with the theme being a play on gender reveal parties.
“All the decorations were ‘It’s a boy!’-themed. The cake was strawberry and they put blue icing on top,” Berbabe says. “The joke was, ‘Oh, we accidentally made a pink cake for a girl but it turned out to be a boy.’”
“I came out about two years ago,” Bernabe adds. “I've been out ever since and all I've gotten is support from my friends and teachers. My school is a really safe place for people like me.”
Bernabe also mentioned that his friends were the ones who got him his first chest binder a few years back.
“It just made me feel so happy, overwhelmed, I couldn’t believe it, I really couldn’t,” Bernabe says of his 18th birthday surprise. “My friends are phenomenal honestly. Since day one it’s just been constant support.”
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