Historically black all-male college to accept trans students from 2020

Morehouse College

Morehouse College, a historically black all-male school in the US, will admit trans male students by 2020.

The college in Atlanta, Georgia, announced the implementation of the Gender Identity Admissions and Matriculation Policy after it was voted in by the Board of Trustees on Saturday (13 April).

Under this policy, trans male, non-binary and gender non-conforming students will be eligible to apply to study at Morehouse from next year onwards.

Morehouse’s policy follows a similar move by Spelman College in 2017 when the private, historically black all-female school expanded its application to include trans women students.

However, some trans rights advocates have criticized Morehouse’s move for not being inclusive enough, as it still excludes trans women.

‘We’re proud to expand our admissions policy’

With around 2,200 students, the prestigious Morehouse College has been described as ‘the West Point of black male development’.

The college boasts a number of distinguished alumni, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Spike Lee, Samuel L. Jackson.

Morehouse says that its new trans inclusionary policy was developed after 15-months of community engagement with the college’s staff, students and alumni.

Terrance Dixon, Morehouse vice president for enrollment management, said the move was a step forward for the college.

‘In a rapidly changing world that includes a better understanding of gender identity, we’re proud to expand our admissions policy to consider trans men who want to be part of an institution that has produced some of the greatest leaders in social justice, politics, business, and the arts for more than 150 years,’ Dixon said.

The policy states that: ‘Once admitted, the student is expected to continue to self-identify as a man throughout his matriculation at Morehouse.’

It adds that trans women or those undergoing male-to-female gender affirmation treatment will not be allowed to enroll in the school.

Morehouse also bans male students from dressing in women’s clothing or wearing makeup.

‘It appears to be half-baked’

While Morehouse is one of the first all-male schools in the US to adopt a trans-inclusionary policy, some current and former LGBTI students have said the move does not go far enough.

Speaking to Buzzfeed News, former student Titi Naomi Tukes said they ‘unequivocally disapprove’ of the new policy, saying ‘it appears to be half-baked’ and did little to protect trans women at the school.

‘[At] worst, it is violent and a clear target against trans femmes which includes women and nonbinary femmes,’ Tukes said. ‘Trans women will be antagonized and expunged from the college.’

Tukes added that the college did not consult members of the trans community before drafting the policy.

However, Dixon disputed these claims, highlighting the time and engagement which went into drawing up the policy, and said its implimentation was still an ongoing process.

Author: Calum Stuart

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United is first of US airlines to offer non-binary booking options

United Airlines gender neutral non binary options

United Airlines are the first US airline to offer non-binary gender options on their booking forms.

The airline announced they now offer the title ‘Mx’ for non-binary and gender fluid passengers. They also worked with LGBTI organizations the Human Rights Campaign and The Trevor Project to train their employees. This includes the correct use of pronouns.

In addition to ‘male’ and ‘female’, the forms will also offer ‘unspecified’ or ‘undisclosed’ for passengers booking tickets.

‘United is excited to share with our customers, whether they identify along the binary of male or female or not, that we are taking the steps to exhibit our care for them while also providing additional employee training to make us even more welcoming for all customers and employees,’ United’s Chief Customer Officer Toby Enqvist said in a statement.

All of the US’ five biggest airlines – American, Delta, United, Southwest and Alaska – announced in February 2019 that they would offer non-binary options.

CEO & Executive Director of The Trevor Project said in a statement: ‘We are thrilled to bring Trevor’s expertise on the mental health of LGBTQ people to United to ensure its employees maintain safe and inclusive spaces for LGBTQ employees and guests.’

See also: 

LGBTI activists infiltrate London gala to protest airlines deporting refugees

Airline refused to let gay couple and their kids use family boarding

Delta Airlines ‘must apologize’ for calling police on deaf LGBTI couple

Author: Tom Capon

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Mike Pence’s home state of Indiana now offers gender neutral ID options

Vice President Mike Pence

Vice President Mike Pence’s home state Indiana has begun issuing gender neutral drivers license and state ID cards.

The cards use an ‘X’ instead of ‘M’ or ‘F’ to indicate the holder identifies as non-binary.

According to the NBC News, the state updated the gender options to match the American Academy of Motor Vehicle Administrators recommendations.

Applicants can request the identifiers by submitting a physician’s note or an amended birth certificate.

How did it happen? 

It’s the result of years of advocacy.

Indiana Legal Services attorney Katherine Wood pursued changing the ID policy back in January 2017.

After the organization threatened to sue, the BMV agreed to begin issuing the IDs this year

At least two people have obtained the new IDs, according to the organization’s LGBTQ project director, Megan Stuart.

She told NBC News: ‘In a state known for its anti-LGBTQ laws, policies, and politicians, the BMV chose to recognize people with nonbinary genders without a legal battle.’

A ‘relief’

Moreover, Ash Kulak, a nonbinary public defender, is believed to be the second person to obtain one of the newly offered IDs.

Furthermore, Kulak worked alongside Wood to advocate for a non-binary option for nearly two years.

Kulak said: ‘Personally, I like knowing that I can hand over my ID and not have someone immediately know what a doctor thought about my sex assigned at birth, not have someone from an institution try to confirm their suspicions about what I could possibly be.’

What has Pence got to do with this?

However, the news in Indiana carries weight considering it’s where VP Mike Pence governs.

From attending an anti-LGBTI rally to defending his wife’s job at a school that prohibits LGBTI pupils and staff attending, Pence’s track record is not peachy.

In fact, he even signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

While since amended, the act enabled businesses to refuse LGBTI people on the principle of regions beliefs.

See also

The best photos from Ohio’s ‘Big LGBTQ Dance Party’ greeting Mike Pence

Kansas City is throwing a ‘sausage fest’ in honor of Mike Pence visiting

Mike Pence to ‘troll’ Atlanta’s LGBTIs, schedules visit just ahead of Pride

Author: Josh Milton

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