Happy International Nonbinary Day! Let's Discuss Trans College Issues
Being trans, I'm deeply connected to my LGBT+ identity, and being very pro-education, let's combine the two for a post for this special day.
Alright, this is a using my voice sort of post, so it's pretty informal. There shouldn’t be any content warnings necessary, but I’m just saying I’m gonna be talking about my experience with trans people trying to get into college.
In this post, I’m referring to all trans people, as in nonbinary icons, demigirls, demiboys, genderfluid peeps, or anybody that’s not cisgender (which is male or female assigned at birth and happy with it).
Reed College, where I go to school, feels so welcoming in terms of how they treat trans people. For the highly recommended sex ed safety talks they have at the beginning of the year, they have sections for male, female, and nonbinary people. When you introduce yourself in class, you say your pronouns along with your name. And there are counselors and staff who are trans too, so you’ve got people to help you out who you relate to in identity. I’m lucky. I know this. There are some people who aren’t so lucky.
One of my friends from another city in Texas— they were threatened nearly daily with guns at school just because they were gay. Turns out they discovered that they’re trans too. Their family doesn’t know they’re on hormones (also provided by Reed). What happens when their family does find out? Will my friend be able to go back to college, or will they get shut off from their family financially?
That’s one of the many possibilities of how difficult college funding can be for trans people. Another possibility is a trans person being kicked out of their house just for being trans. How are they supposed to fund themselves going to college if they’re trying to get food and shelter for the next day?
What if the college they want to go to doesn’t even want them? Reed College is plenty open to trans students, but there are too many colleges that I won’t name whose cultural and political environments are too harmful for the trans students that might go there. Even if they manage to make it into the college, how are the other students going to treat them? It’s possible they might be mistreated, purposely misgendered, and outcasted so much that they want to drop out of college altogether, depriving themselves of an education that they could’ve had if they were supported.
While this is only scratching the surface, I hope you can think about this and consider other challenges for trans students trying to afford and attend college. Then I hope you can think of ways to combat these challenges so we can make a stronger future for everyone in our young generations, including people who don’t align with the cisgender norm.
If you are trans or know of any trans person that could use some help getting through college financially, check out https://www.onlinedegree.com/transgender-first-scholarship/?fbclid=IwAR05VcDWS1cfuAmbkbI6OBHFjeufyeajlM_ySXrJl67GGTAEFXBkHPno7QE
They're who inspired me to write this post today, so give them a visit!