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Price 1Tionne PriceProfessor J. McDadeEnglish 130428 April 2015Ethical Issues Surrounding Transgender Students in College EducationAnecdotal evidence suggests that students are coming out as transgender on campuses across the country. The term transgender encompasses a wide range of identities, appearances, and behaviors that blur or cross gender lines. Within this transgender umbrella are transsexuals, who live some or all of the time in a sex different from their biological sex; cross-dressers (formerly called transvestites), who wear clothes typically associated with the “opposite” gender;drag kings and drag queens, who cross-dress within a performance context; and genderqueers, who identify outside of binary gender or sex systems. Transgender students may be of any age, ethnicity, race, class, or sexual orientation. Some enter higher education open about being transgender, while others come out during college or graduate school. Still others may never use the term transgender, but will strongly identify themselves as male, female, transsexual, or another (or no) gender. Some students may choose to transition; that is, to live as a gender different from the one assigned to them at birth. Transitioning is a complex, individual process that often includes changing one’s name, appearance, and body.Transgender students confront a number of challenges within campus environments, including a lack of access to health care and difficulties with sex-segregated facilities (Beemyn, 2003; Nakamura, 1998). Maria, a Latina student, was assigned male at birth. Although Maria would prefer that no one know that she is a transsexual woman, she must negotiate with student
Price 2health to ensure access to hormones and other services. Maria works extra hours so she can afford genital surgery someday. Other students live genderqueer lives by refusing to limit themselves to any single gender. Ron, a nineteen-year-old African American male, proudly wearsa dress around campus, weathering chronic harassment from other students. Chris, a graduate student, wants to be gender-free and prefers gender-neutral pronouns. Transgender students offer