There was a great letter to the editor in Haverford-Bryn Mawr’s Bi-College News today. I don’t really have anything to add, so I’ll just wholesale blockquote:
Elizabeth Held’s February 17 article “SGA Talks Plenary” surprised me greatly, not due to the overall content or the writing style, but because it referred to Alex T. BMC ‘09 with female pronouns.
I do not wish to speak for T., but as an acquaintance I believe that I can say with relative certainty that he prefers male pronouns and identifies not as a female but as a female-to-male transgendered person. If Ms. Held was confused or disoriented by T.’s gender presentation, or was unsure as to how to refer to him in print, then as a responsible journalist she should have asked.
In light of this confusion, it seems ironic that T. will be presenting a resolution having to do with gender-inclusive language in the Bryn Mawr Consitution and community. Perhaps we need that resolution more than we think we do.
Amanda Darby BMC ‘10
I remember some vague ruckus about this particular trans guy and his place at a women’s college; certainly there was that NYT Magazine article last year about young FTM (female-to-male transgendered) folks at women’s colleges. All my admittedly very sexist opinions about the place for women’s colleges in our society aside, I think Amanda Darby’s letter was absolutely spot-on. The kids at Bryn Mawr and Haverford do great things; I wish Princeton students had half their cultural awareness. But trans people—particularly young trans people, a relatively new phenomenon as people start to come out earlier—still tend to fly under the radar. There are ways, I think, to raise awareness about gender identity even on a campus where there might be only one or two out trans students, and this is really something we should be starting to do now that sex and sexual orientation awareness are becoming more normalized on-campus.
So yeah. Thank you so much, Amanda Darby, for bringing this to Haverford’s, Bryn Mawr’s, and my attention.