Bil Browning

Barnard College to Admit Transgender Women

Filed By Bil Browning | June 08, 2015 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Barnard College, transgender students, women's colleges

barnard-college.jpgBarnard College has joined the ever growing group of women's colleges that are becoming more and more trans* friendly. The college has announced a new policy that will allow trans women who have started to transition to apply for admittance.

The school's new policy says that students who "consistently live and identify as women, regardless of the gender assigned to them at birth" are eligible, but transgender men who identify as male at the time of application are ineligible. Students who transition from female to male during their academic career will be able to stay at the college and get their degree.

With its new policy, Barnard follows other prestigious women's colleges in articulating a stance on transgender applicants and students at a moment when transgender people are more visible than ever...

But the rules vary by institution. The policy at Wellesley, for example, is similar to Barnard's, as is that of Smith College. The process for Smith was especially charged after its widely publicized rejection of Calliope Wong, who identified as a woman, in 2013 because a financial aid document identified her as male. Ms. Wong had not undergone gender reassignment surgery, which rendered her ineligible to change the gender on her birth certificate in Connecticut. A bill recently passed by the Connecticut General Assembly and sent to the governor would eliminate that requirement.

Mount Holyoke, on the other hand, has one of the most inclusive policies of any prestigious women's school. In addition to welcoming transgender women, the school also accepts transgender men, as well as those born biologically female but who do not identify as either gender. Only those born biologically male and who identify as men are ineligible to attend.

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