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April 9, 2012

University Of Pittsburgh Imposes A Transphobic Gendered Facilities Policy


When the 2012-13 school year rolls around, I’ll be joining much of the Big East Conference in hatin’ on the University of Pittsburgh for a different reason other than their upcoming 2013 departure from the Big East for the ACC.

In a step that would make transphobic rad fems and the Exterminationalist Twins proud, the University of Pittsburgh took a transphobic step backwards in regards to campus gendered facility policy for trans students.

Last month the Pitt Anti-Discrimination Policies committee, one of the standing advisory committees of the University Senate, unanimously passed a resolution that would allow students to use bathrooms allocated to the gender they identify with, not their birth one. .The ADP committee includes Pitt faculty, staff and two Pitt students who do not have voting power: Board member Julie Halinan and Rainbow Alliance President Tricia Dougherty.  .

On Tuesday an unidentified Pitt spokesperson stated that students must use the gendered facilities that correspond with gender on their birth certificate, not how they currently present.

That’s problematic on several levels.  Pennsylvania is one of the states that only allows birth certificate changes if the person in question undergoes SRS.   That’s an out of the question expense for many trans college students.  It also doesn’t take into account some states like Tennessee will not allow or offer new or amended birth certificates under any circumstances.

Pitt’s transphobic policy is also in conflict with the recently adopted NCAA competition policies for trans student athletes, the non-discrimination laws in the city of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County and could open trans students to anti-trans violence if forced to use a gender facility that doesn’t correspond with their gender presentation.

And as trans Pitt student Alice Haas pointed out, ““I find it absolutely barbaric and appalling that the University of Pittsburgh requires forced castration in order for me to be considered female, especially when my driver’s license and passport both state otherwise,” Haas said. “It is in no way just or appropriate to force me to provide information on my genitals or my birth certificate.”

Pennsylvania was also one of the states in which the Republifools got control of the state legislature in 2010, so peeps who don’t pay attention to politics, this is another fine example of how lack of attention to what’s happening politically can bite you in the behind.

Stay tuned, this battle in the Keystone State and on the Pitt campus is going to get interesting.

cross-posted from Transgriot

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