Transgender Americans Still Fighting for Acceptance—Even at Progressive Colleges

Institutions are still intolerant of transgender people, as evidenced by the story of Ally Robledo. Robledo is a transgender woman who was cited for trespassing last week when she used a women’s restroom at an Idaho grocery.

According to the Huffington Post,

Robledo told [a local TV news station] that she has already undergone one gender re-assignment surgery. In the past, Robledo said using male restrooms led to feelings of embarrassment and harassment, and that she sometimes she even feared for her safety.

The laws relevant to non-cisgendered Americans are being tested. In Arizona, a bill passed the state House late last month which “seeks to shield businesses from civil or criminal liability if they ban people from restrooms that don’t match their birth sex.”

This month brought more Arizona controversy on the same issue; a transgender man’s divorce was blocked on the basis of his gender, and he is appealing the ruling.

Finally, even historically progressive institutions are facing criticism for their gender-identity biases. Smith College is being petitioned to change their policy on transgender applicants, following their denial of a transgender woman who was told that “undergraduate applicants to Smith must be female at the time of admission.”

A writer for Feministing reached out to women’s colleges and discovered that only Spelman would go on the record as open to transgender applicants; after that post went up, Simmons College accepted a transgender woman for the class of 2017.

See our previous coverage of emerging legal frontiers in the fight for transgender equality; contact us if you have any questions about discrimination or civil rights law.