When Girls Will Be Boys

When Girls Will Be Boys
This was posted in the Women’s Studies listserv at my college and I wanted to make sure and present it to you all.

Of course, many trans students identify first as women — as lesbians or feminist activists. They are attracted to women’s schools precisely because of their reputation as safe harbors for exploring these identities. As a result, many transmale students apply to women’s schools and attend them before they have fully come out as “gender nonconforming” — and this is likely to be the case for years to come.

Denburg, the Barnard dean, acknowledges that women’s colleges have always been places “where women can explore definitions and dimensions of gender.” But it is only in the last five years of her tenure as dean, she says, that she has encountered transmale students. She had, she said, no objection to Rey’s attending Barnard. The school has helped other gender-nonconforming students, among them a resident adviser in his senior year, who had to inform his female dorm mates about his gender transition over the summer. Denburg described her work with these students “as an educational journey for me as well, that has helped me to better understand the drive of someone who feels they are in the wrong body.”


One thought on “When Girls Will Be Boys

  1. very interesting post…i have been reading a lot about the transgender population lately and knew a little girl who has insisted since she was three (she is now 8) that she is a boy…she said “inside i know i am a boy…god made me wrong…but i cant tell anybody”…she has already talked about changing her body when she grows up…she even has had a name picked out for the last two years and is insisten on it…thanks for posting this…


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