Transgender students find open door at more women’s colleges

Sep 5, 2017 by

The first transgender women accepted to Wellesley College will begin classes Tuesday. One of them, Ninotska Love, was born in Ecuador and was granted asylum in 2013 after entering the U.S. from Mexico on foot. Her case illustrates the shifting notions of gender on college campuses as most — but not all — women’s colleges have agreed to accept trans women.

WELLESLEY, Mass. (AP) — Until last year, Ninotska Love would have been barred from attending Wellesley College. She’s an accomplished student who has persevered through hardship, but under longstanding rules, the college would have rejected her because she was assigned at birth as a boy.

Now the rules have changed. This week, Love will become one of the first transgender women to attend Wellesley in the school’s 147-year history.

“For me to be accepted to one of the best colleges for women in the nation, it is a big validation of the person that I have become. At first I couldn’t believe it,” said Love, 28, who was born in Ecuador but fled to the U.S. in 2009 after being kidnapped and threatened because of her gender identity. “I’m so thankful to be here.”

Her arrival on campus reflects a quiet but momentous shift that’s taking place at a wave of women’s colleges that have begun allowing trans women. But even as many schools embrace shifting views on gender, some have been reluctant to change amid lingering differences over the role of women’s colleges.

Since 2014, at least eight women’s colleges have moved to allow trans women, starting with Mills College in Oakland, California. Joining Wellesley in 2015 were Smith, Bryn Mawr and Barnard colleges, the last of the so-called Seven Sisters women’s colleges to make the change. Advocates say others have likely done so without advertising

continue: Transgender students find open door at more women’s colleges | WTOP

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