All-male Morehouse College to start accepting trans students

An all-male, historically black college in Atlanta, Georgia, will start admitting some transgender students in 2020.

Morehouse College announced that it will begin to accept transgender men, but not trans women.

“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,” Terrance Dixon, Morehouse’s vice president for enrollment management, said in a statement.

“The ratification of this policy affirms the college’s commitment to develop men with disciplined minds who will lead lives of leadership and service.”

Students who identify as non-binary or gender non-conforming are also eligible for admission.

However, the college has outlined that all students are expected to self-identify as men throughout their education at Morehouse.

The college added that if a student transitions from a man to a woman, they will no longer be eligible to matriculate.

“Exemptions from this rule may be granted by a three-person committee appointed by the President after a written appeal is submitted by the student,” according to the college.

“In the event that the impacted student disagrees with the decision of the committee, the student may make a final appeal to the President of Morehouse.”

Graves Hall, Morehouse College (Wiki Commons)

The Gender Identity Policy reads: “If a student decides that, as a men’s college, Morehouse no longer offers the appropriate educational environment for the student, or if an enrolled student begins to self-identify as a woman, we will offer guidance and resources to assist in making choices that are best for that student.”

Despite the new policy, Morehouse said it would continue to use the masculine pronouns and other gendered language, including the language of brotherhood, that university officials felt reflected its mission.

The new policy reads: “Where there is a conflict between the student’s self-identified gender and the sex that appears on documentation such as an academic transcript or documents provided as part of the financial aid process, the student is strongly encouraged to contact the Office of Admissions for a discussion around the desire to attend a single gender men’s college and how they self-identify in terms of gender.”

The policy was developed after 15 months of community engagement with faculty, staff, students and alumni.

Morehouse President David Thomas created a task force that led the community engagement meetings.

Some have criticised Morehouse’s exclusion of trans women, however.

Speaking to CNN, Morehouse graduate Titi Naomi Tukes said: “I unequivocally disapprove of it because it is exclusionary of trans women or gender non-conforming and non-binary students.”

Tukes said when students go to college they usually don’t know themselves and can often question their religion, sexuality or gender during their education.