For those of you who have been following the uproar over Smith College —another prominent women’s college— horrible policy of not admitting trans* women into their undergraduate program, this may be of interest.
I applied to Simmons College —a prominent women’s college— with an application that clearly identified me as a trans* woman and spoke of my work within the trans* community. They never questioned my gender markers or asked me about being trans* and responded with the letter above.
To all who work in admissions at Simmons, thank you for leading
by example. Smith —despite being labeled a safe haven for the queer community— clearly has a lot to learn from your institution.
Anonymous asked: About your post regarding not splitting stuff up by gender: I get that they shouldn't do that in high school, but in elementary school, you're most likely not going to find a trans* 10 year old. At that age, anything having to do with sex doesn't go beyond thinking soandso is cute. Plus, young children tend to prefer spending time with people of their own gender, so it makes sense for teachers to do that. Of course, I'm not saying there are no exceptions. I respect trans* and LGBQ people.
Trans* and gender variant adults often start as trans* and gender variant children. Even if there aren’t trans* youth in a particular class, that still doesn’t make it okay to reinforce institutional oppression. Also, there really isn’t much of a legitimate reason to do it in the first place.
I came out as trans* at age 8. I would have had a lot easier childhood if my class wasn’t split up between boys and girls. Several studies have been done to find when trans* people first realized their gender identity. The most common age range in these studies is 5-10.
Don’t separate your class by gender or sex, it can make trans* students very uncomfortable and it completely writes off individuals that do not identify in the gender binary. You can’t tell how someone identifies from how they look, and their experiences could differ wildly from your own.
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On the first day of school, have students introduce themselves with the name they would like to be called instead of reading off a roster. This gives trans* youth (and anyone else who doesn’t like their legal name) a chance to share the name they are most comfortable with.