Wellesley & Simmons Colleges Continue to Shatter the Glass Gender Binary by Admitting Trans Women!
Contact: Jen Self, Publications and Communications Chair, email@example.com
March 17, 2015
New York, NY: The Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals celebrates Simmons College and Wellesley College’s decisions to be just the third and fourth of the 119 “single-sex” campuses in the U.S. to admit trans women. Just six months after Mills College and Mount Holyoke College opened their admissions policies to trans women and allowed for the continued enrollment of trans men, Wellesley & Simmons follow suit to “align themselves on the right side of history” according to Simmons College junior, Danny Boucher. Similar to Mills College, Wellesley’s new policy opens admissions to trans women. However, the policy does not open the door to the admission of trans men who have legally changed their gender markers to “M.” By contrast, Simmons College adopted a policy that more closely resembles Mount Holyoke’s, opening admissions to all people assigned female at birth regardless of current gender identity and all trans women.
Wellesley is the second of the Seven Sisters (Smith College, Bryn Mawr College, Wellesley College, Barnard College, Radcliffe College, and Vassar College) to change its admissions policies inside of a year. Will the other five respond in kind? Smith, in particular, has been under public scrutiny and student protest since 2013 when they rejected the application of Calliope Wong. Smith’s Dean of Admissions, Debra Shaver, has since indicated that the policy is under review, and Smith has temporarily ceased rejecting the applications of trans women.
According to Dr. Genny Beemyn, renowned researcher, and Director of University of Massachusetts Stonewall Center, nationwide 40 other single-sex colleges are being pushed to change their admissions policies as well. Colleges looking to improve their support for transgender students are encouraged to consult the Consortium’s Suggested Best Practices for Supporting Trans Students.
Please join the Consortium in congratulating Simmons College and Wellesley College for their leadership in operationalizing the reality that “gender identity is not reducible to the body” (Kellaway, 2014).
Shared Vision and Mission Statement
To critically transform higher education environments so that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students, faculty, administrators, staff, and alumni have equity in every respect.
Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals
280 Madison Avenue Ste. 912 - New York, NY 10016-0801