Petitioners protest Smith College’s anti-transgender policy

More than 3,000 petition signers and student activists are protesting Smith College’s policy of rejecting the applications of some transgender women.

GLAAD also has protested the policy.

In March, Smith denied admission to Calliope Wong because the gender marker on her federal financial aid form did not match her stated gender identity of female.

GLAAD said that despite Smith’s reputation for being inclusive, the policy turns a blind eye to the many complications and challenges transgender people – especially young people – sometimes face when attempting to correct gender markers on personal identification documents.

“Through the pressure from this petition and the campaign in general, I hope that Smith College becomes a more responsible and transparent institution,” stated Wong. “What that means to me is that Smith College will no longer use arbitrary and legally dubious bars against transwomen in the application and admissions process.”

GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz said, “Thousands of Smith’s supporters are telling the school that it needs to end its policy of refusing to consider the applications of women whom they decide aren’t ‘woman enough’ based on inconsistent documents. Smith is setting a poor example to all of its students by not even accepting the applications of women like Calliope.”

Blogger and Yale student Sarah Giovanniello has been writing about Wong’s story. She noted that, “the support the petition has received in just a few days is overwhelming. I hope that the widespread attention Calliope’s case has gotten communicates to the Smith administration how important trans women’s rights are and should be to the college’s mission. Ideally, the college would commit providing trans women with the same level of support as any other applicants.”

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