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View Diary: Smith College's Transgender Problem (55 comments)

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  •  I haven't researched this particular situation (3+ / 0-)
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    rserven, Adam B, kyril

    in detail, but I am a Smith alum, my daughter is currently a Smith student and I received an email just the other day linking to the "Gender Identity and Expression" page at Smith.

    How does Smith decide who is a woman?
    It doesn’t. With regard to admission, Smith relies upon the information provided by each student applicant. In other contexts, different definitions and requirements may apply. For example, the definition of a woman for NCAA competition may differ from the definition of a woman for purposes of admission to Smith or other single-sex colleges.
    When my daughter attend Open Weekend in Spring 2011, she met a transgender student (male) who was disappointed that he was not able to host a "prospie" but my understanding/memory of the situation was that it wasn't college administration but some other entity associated with the campus that had turned him down. The campus was awash in students wearing homemade "Ask Me About It" t-shirts for all the prospies and their parents to see: an invitation for a dialog.

    I thought it was a wonderful expression of solidarity amongst the student body in support of a classmate (as well as support for the larger issue of transgender students), and I believe had a very positive impact. I know my daughter was impressed: not that the student was denied, but that the student body rallied and made positive change.

    I imagine they are getting some serious pushback on this current incident, thus the email I received with the link to the page about Gender Identity and Expression. Nothing I read on that page suggests that Wong should have been denied admission based upon her gender identity and expression.

    I certainly hope this indicates a change in policy and I imagine the students at Smith will again rally to support this young woman specifically, and transgender students universally.

    •  The transman, Jake... (2+ / 0-)
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      annieli, kyril

      ...believes it was the administration.

      •  I don't remember exactly who at the college (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rserven, kyril

        put the kabosh on his hosting a prospie; it was some entity. I forget the details; memory isn't as good as it once was. As I say, my daughter attended some performance events with him and his friends during Open Campus and got the scoop, as well as really good discussion, during her stay. I think that those conversations were part of her decision to attend.

        My point was more that the students initiated conversation as well as protest during open campus, and pushed the college in a really effective way.

        It's spring break now, but I'll bet that the student body organizes a response once everyone is back on campus. They are probably organizing something already. The Smith fb page is filled with (mostly) pushback, but as other commenters have mentioned, there are members of any community that are uninformed or bigoted. You'd think members of the LGBT community would be informed and in solidarity with the T part, but they aren't always!

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