In June, Barnard’s Board of Trustees will vote on whether or not to include specific language around transgender applicants in their admissions policy. If they did, they’d join women’s colleges such as Smith, Mount Holyoke, and Wellesley, which have recently made varying efforts towards trans inclusiveness. For now, at Barnard, any student who checks the “female” box on the common application can apply, and no student is asked to leave once they have matriculated. So far, the school does not admit anyone who checks the “male” box, which includes trans women not yet able to change their legal gender marker.
When I returned to school for my sophomore year, I jumped right into queer and trans life on campus. I started going to meetings and events, becoming part of what was not only a community of dozens of queer and trans people at Barnard but also a close family. The new friends I made didn’t know who used to be, so I had the chance to reinvent myself. As I got more comfortable with this version of myself, I started to tell friends from back home, and eventually family. After a while, I was no longer coming out —I just was out. My social transition began that fall, and so did my medical transition, when I started on hormone-replacement therapy in the winter.