Starting in 2020, Morehouse College will be admitting transgender men to the school. The historically all-male and predominantly black college revealed the new policy, titled Gender Identity Admission and Matriculation Policy, in a news release and stated it will apply to all students who are enrolled for the fall 2020 semester.
In 2017, Spelman College, a private historically black, all-women’s school in Atlanta created a policy that is similar.
“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,” said Terrance Dixon, Morehouse vice president for enrollment management. “The ratification of this policy affirms the College’s commitment to developing men with disciplined minds who will lead lives of leadership and service.”
WKTR details the policy took 15 months of community engagement among faculty members, staff, students, and alumni with a team created to assist in the development of the policy.
A student who is looking to be enrolled at Morehouse are expected to self-identify as men throughout their educational tenure at the college and if it were to change, it would require the student would no longer be able to enroll.
The policy has opposition, such as alum TiTi Naomi Tukes who stated: “I unequivocally disapprove of it because it is exclusionary of trans women or gender non-conforming and non-binary students.”
A current student, Tatiana Rafael, is a senior who identifies as a transsexual woman and began her transition six months after she began to attend the college, who now feels that she is not welcome.
“I felt pretty marginalized and erased. I was never included in the image of the school. I was kind of just there by default,” she stated.
In 2009, Morehouse instituted a policy that would ban students from wearing women’s clothing, makeup, and high heels under the Appropriate Attire Policy. A step forward toward an inclusive campus occurred in 2013, when Morehouse started a course on LGBTQ history and culture.