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Ed Webb

Seventy-One Stories About Being Trans in School - 0 views

  • (a) some of the biggest challenges trans students face are infrastructural, both bricks-and-mortar structures (the housing of trans students; bathroom facilities), and digital architecture (course information software, transcripts, diplomas and email databases all routinely misidentify students);(b) an overwhelming majority of students and graduates described the experience of being misgendered and/or deadnamed by their professors as an extremely common experience.
  • I do think there’s real value in hearing stories of what it feels like to be misgendered or deadnamed
  • Anti-trans academics who claim that their rights are being infringed are heard far more frequently in the mainstream media than are the students who are apparently doing the infringing.
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  • academic freedom is a value of deep institutional importance to the independence of the University from entrenched power. Free speech demands no such institutional defense, and is rightly deprioritized when in conflict with other interests such as equity of access to education, or the health and wellbeing of students
  • To listen to trans students and graduates is to be sure that, whatever the British gender critical academics argue, the training of the professoriate on this issue is woefully inadequate
  • Many trans and non-binary students reported challenges finding built environments where they could feel safe at college. “They keep housing me with men,” wrote one trans woman; another trans woman reported that, despite being roomed with “transphobic students,” her administrators “weren’t, in general, willing to cut me a whole lot of slack because I hadn’t legally changed my gender marker.” A trans man reported being “placed on an all-girls floor even though I stated clearly on my housing form that I’m a trans guy.” Another student described the non-accommodation of trans students as an official policy: “my school matches roommate based on assigned sex, and refuses to accommodate trans students.”
  • Many students wrote with great enthusiasm about LGBTQ support centers on campus, which provide trans students with community and guidance. One writes that “younger uni empoyees and employees who were queer or allies were actually pretty great”; another says “the campus LGBT centers at two of the institutions where I experienced […] discrimination were amazing”; another writes that “the gender equality center is really working to help students and we have queer profs and Pride programming.” Another describes the vibe at the LGBTQ center as “quite tumblr but very supportive.” Students reported valuing the opportunity to invite speakers and guests themselves, though some report a wish that more resources for such programming were available.
  • A number of students wrote to express their dismay at the poverty of counselling resources for trans students
  • A large majority of respondents – close to all - explicitly reported experiences with “deadnaming” and “misgendering” by their academic advisors – their professors and mentors. Some of these instances were “deliberate,” “malicious,” “continued,” or “transphobic,” while others were merely “ignorant” or “accidental.” One respondent reported having been taught by two kinds of teacher: “profs who never asked for pronouns and always misgendered me, and profs who asked for pronouns but would still misgender me every time and apologize every time under the guise of ‘trying their best’.”
  • Sometimes being misgendered at a key moment in one’s school career throws students into emotional disarray at an inopportune moment.
  • colleges and universities are failing to establish adequate infrastructure for trans and non-binary students (especially in respect of digital architecture, which perhaps receives less attention than bricks-and-mortar)
  • staff and faculty, far from being the mindwiped drones of the gender critical academics’ fantasy, are mostly pretty incompetent at addressing and discussing trans students
  • I have a responsibility as a teacher to ensure minimum standards of care and equitable access to education for all my trans students, but also that I have a responsibility to push back against those institutional disincentives
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