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6 All-Girls Colleges Founded in the 1800s That Accept Trans Women

6 All-Girls Colleges Founded in the 1800s That Accept Trans Women

6 All-Girls Colleges Founded in the 1800s That Accept Trans Women

Transgender students face a great deal of discrimination on many levels, but college admissions are especially challenging for young trans girls because they are often unable to find the support they need to transition. These schools have revised their admissions policies to accept trans women, but we hope they also create safe educational spaces where trans women feel comfortable getting their gender marker changed and living openly in their true identity. 

Here’s a list of schools revolutionizing (or correcting) their policies to be more inclusive of the #GirlsLikeUs movement, which is a hashtag Janet Mock started trending on Twitter to connect and unite trans women online. 

Mills College

Mills College got the ball rolling by becoming the first single-sex college in the United States to admit trans women last August. The institution admitted trans students before the public announcement, but it is important for trans visibility to share the news widely.

Mt. Holyoke College

Mt. Holyoke College followed Mills College a month later when the school’s president Lynn Pasquerella tearfully announced the policy change during the college’s Fall 2014 convocation. Students met the announcement with roaring applause and a standing ovation. The school currently has set an inclusive policy that admits prospective students "who identify as nonbinary, genderqueer, neither gender or as both male and female."

Simmons College

Helen Drinan, the president of Simmons College, announced last November that the institution would follow suit with both Mills and Mt. Holyoke colleges and make transgender inclusion explicit in their admissions policy.

Wellesley College

In March of 2015, Wellesley College announced it would allow all individuals who live “as a woman and consistently identify as a woman” to be admitted. The change came after a committee evaluated the admissions policy for over a year. Wellesley has opted not to admit trans men or those who identify as male despite being assigned female at birth.

Bryn Mawr

In an early February campus-wide email, Bryn Mawr College president Kim Cassidy announced that all trans students could enroll at Bryn Mawr after months of discussions with the school’s Board of Trustees.

In the email, Cassidy stated, “We recognize that students may express new gender identities while at Bryn Mawr and beyond. Such students may worry that the College will no longer value them if those explorations take them on a different gender pathway. The Board’s decision affirms our commitment to all of our current and future students whom we will continue to welcome, support and proudly claim as our alumnae/i.”

Smith College

Smith College is the latest institution to expand its inclusion to admit trans women after it came under criticism when Calliope Wong, a transgender woman, was denied admission because her home state, Connecticut, didn’t recognize her as female. Despite choosing to go to the University of Connecticut instead, Wong is glad to see the school’s policy updated and has responded on her Tumblr page.

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Raquel Willis

A black trans queer feminist media maven. A proponent of all things equality.

A black trans queer feminist media maven. A proponent of all things equality.