Crossing the T

Life at the intersection of Church and Trans with Rev. Allyson Robinson

Deseret News on trans student denied housing at SUU

Salt Lake City’s largest daily, the Deseret Morning News, has picked up Kourt Osborn’s story today. Details are finally beginning to emerge on SUU’s position. From the article:

But it isn’t a case of discrimination because the only reason Osborn was denied is because he didn’t meet the school’s baseline requirements that he’s completed hormone treatment and undergone gender-reassignment surgery, says Michael Carter, assistant attorney general and SUU counsel. Osborn’s application will be reconsidered if he can provide proof that he’s done both, Carter said.

The most obvious problem here is that one does not “complete” hormone treatment, but the deeper issue in my mind is the way the University seems oblivious to how classist their position is. Gender reassignment surgery is an incredibly expensive procedure–prohibitively expensive for the vast majority of transgendered people. They apparently expect a person in his twenties without a college education to have somehow amassed the necessary resources to meet their requirements. Those who come from all but the highest classes of our society will never be able to do so–and, honestly, how many multi-millionaire’s children are going to attend SUU?  They’ve established a barrier to on-campus housing that is effectively impossible for the vast majority of transgendered students to meet.

Kudos are in order for the Deseret News, first for publishing the story, then for telling it so even-handedly, and finally for following editorial guidelines for referring to trans people according to their gender identity rather than biological sex.  Now what I’d really like to see is their editorial board taking a position on this case.


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