In a meeting of the board of Barnard College, a division of Columbia University, on June 3, 2015, Barnard decided to allow transgender women to apply for admission. On June 4, 2015, the board sent a message to members of the Barnard community titled Barnard Announces Transgender Admission Policy. The policy accepts applications of transgender women that are identified as female at the time of admission. It does not admit females undergoing transition to masculine identity at the time of admission. Women that are currently at Barnard that transition from female to male will be provided with counseling.
The policy accepts transgender women that are identified as female at the time of admission. It does not admit females undergoing transition to masculine identity at the time of admission. Women that are currently at Barnard that transition from female to male will be provided counseling and assistance.
In furtherance of our mission, tradition and values as a women’s college, and in recognition of our changing world and evolving understanding of gender identity, Barnard will consider for admission those applicants who consistently live and identify as women, regardless of the gender assigned to them at birth. We will also continue to use gendered language that reflects our identity as a women’s college.
This admissions policy does not affect students who transition during their time at Barnard. Once admitted, every student will receive the individualized support that is an essential part of the Barnard experience. If, during a student’s time at Barnard, the student decides that Barnard, as a women’s college, no longer offers an appropriate educational environment, Barnard will offer guidance and resources to assist in making choices that are best for that student.
Barnard joins several other prestigious women’s colleges in this decision to admit qualified transgender women applicants, including Wellesley, Smith, Mount Holyoke and Simmons. Wellesley College provides the most comprehensive inclusiveness of females that has been encountered. Wellesley’s Student Life statement includes most possible versions of female sexual identification.
Wellesley is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and intersex students.
The Intersex Society of North America provides support for several different physiological and psychological versions of gender. The society also provides a definition of intersexuality that includes hermaphrodites, those with hidden sexual organs that differ from outward appearance, or those with mixed DNA having both XX and XY chromosomes. The society provides an extensive definition of intersexuality.
The ability to reassign sexual identification from one gender to another has created this quandary of defining male and female characterizations. Nature has always allowed for confusion of sexual identity through the existence of hermaphrodites. Medical science now further confuses the issue of sexual identity through surgery. The women’s colleges have taken a bold and inclusive step to allow these people to develop within their new identities. Religious turmoil will follow, especially among fundamentalists of various religions.
Spiritualists accept that whatever happens is the result of Infinite Intelligence at play in the Universe. Sexual transitions are a fact of life, and the definition of what makes a human being extends far beyond sexuality. Spiritualists look to nature to determine the will of the Creator. Barnard and other colleges are acknowledging and supporting the decisions to transition from male to female identity by allowing the admission and development of transgender females into their institutions.