Tag Archives: office for student affairs

Write-Ins and All Campus Email: Wesleyan Responds to Federal Proposal on Defining Gender

Editor’s Note: This post contains references to transphobia/trans-erasure. If you are upset or disturbed by this news and need support, please reach out to CAPS at (860) 685-2910 and alert the CAPS staff you are in need of a same day appointment. If you are unsure if your issue is a “crisis,” please contact CAPS to discuss.

Wesleying aims to provide a safe(r) space for trans voices, and we are very willing to listen if you feel there are things we can be doing better towards this goal.

Cover Photo from the Trans at Wes Facebook page

Upon returning from Fall Break, students were greeted with an email from Interim VP for Equity and Inclusion Debbie Colluci and VP for Student Affairs Mike Whaley about the federal proposal on defining gender. This proposed federal policy would eliminate protections for trans and gender non-conforming individuals under Title IX, which has in recent years been one of the sole policies guaranteeing trans and gender non-conforming (GNC) people rights within institutions like the university.

In the email, Colucci and Whaley attempt to quell fears about trans and gender non-conforming students losing protections by pointing to Connecticut State laws and University Policy which prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender, gender identity and/or gender expression. However, not everyone at Wesleyan lives in Connecticut full-time, and there are countless trans and gender non-conforming people in our wider community who don’t have the protections of the university, not to mention all of the trans/GNC folks who live in much more hostile environments.

We reached out to some trans/GNC members of the Wesleyan community to share their thoughts and feelings on the matter. Given the intent of the federal policy to literally erase trans and gender non-conforming people’s identities, we wanted to make sure we amplified trans/GNC voices in this post.

If you are trans/GNC and have thoughts or feelings you’d like to share (on this or any topic), please email them to staff[at]wesleying[dot]org and we can post them here at Wesleying! These can be published as anonymously or with your name, depending on your comfort level.

Read on for responses from members of the trans/GNC Wesleyan community, along with the full text of the email, below the jump: