Drexel University Opens LGBTQA Center

Drexel University, in Philadelphia, opened their new LGBTQA Student Center on Tuesday. The creation of the center is the result of months of petitioning and advocacy from a coalition of the university’s LGBTQ student groups. The student-run LGBTQ group FUSE (Foundation of Undergraduates for Sexual Equality) launched an online petition in February of 2012, asking the university to create a center for LGBTQ students. They drew attention to the fact that, at the time, Drexel had a student body of over over 12,000 undergraduates and close to 7,000 graduate students, but no centralized resource center or safe space for their queer student population. Although Drexel is home to several LGBTQ groups, including FUSE, OUTlaws, OUTgrads, and LGBTQ Health Alliance, these groups were scattered across campus.

The center is located within the Creese Student Center, and staffed by graduate students from the Couple and Family Therapy Department in the College of Nursing and Health Professions. It is supported by the Student Center for Inclusion & Culture, which facilitates multi-cultural and LGBTQ programming on campus.

Student leaders were directly involved in the planning of the LGBTQA center. When first proposing the center, FUSE members wrote a potential budget to present to Drexel administration. Members of the organization, including FUSE President Maureen Nolan, were on an advisory board along with administration and staff to plan the creation of the center. Maureen told Drexel NOW that, “[The center] is not only a symbol of respect and allegiance to the LGBT students, but a necessity.”

Kasey Caron Not Allowed to Run for Homecoming King

During a school board meeting on Monday, September 23, the Richland School Board presented Kasey Caron with a printed notice that they had ended discussion of the Homecoming King issue, and would not pursue it further.

Kasey is a female to male transgender student who petitioned his school district to allow him to run for Homecoming King. Kasey had filed to run for Homecoming Court as a male, but was placed on the female ballot by administrators and subsequently elected. The school district claimed that they were legally unable to recognize him as male, because his driver’s license read female. Upon having his driver’s license amended to reflect his gender, the school board solicitor, Tim Leventry claimed that a male birth certificate was required for Kasey to be considered male by the district.

Kasey is now requesting that he be allowed to wear a blue cap and gown at graduation along with the other males, and sit on the males’ side of the stage. He also wishes to establish a Gay Straight Alliance at Richland High School, and is asking the district to include gender identity in their nondiscrimination policy.

Kasey’s mother, Kathy Caron was the first speaker at the school board meeting yesterday evening. She presented the board members with a three page statement citing laws which prevent gender stereotyping in public schools, and allows students to form a Gay Straight Alliance if the district has any other extra-curricular clubs.

The board claimed they needed more time to discuss the issues, but gave no timeframe for doing so. The next school board meeting is scheduled for October 7,  two days after the school’s Homecoming Game. After Kasey’s mother spoke, the School Board quickly moved on to other items on the agenda.

Mike Campbell, a board member of The Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition present at Monday’s school board meeting said that he was disappointed in the outcome. “The school board doesn’t want to discuss anything, they just want the situation to go away.”

While Kasey may not able to change the school district’s homecoming decision, he is looking to the future to bring equality to Richland.  Kasey told NBC 10, “Just because I can’t win this doesn’t mean that it’s over. We lost this battle, but there are plenty left for me to fight and I’m not backing down anytime soon.”

Remarks from Kasey Caron and John DeBartola at the Richland High School Board Meeting

September 9, 2013, Richland High School Board Meeting Complainant: Kasey Caron, Kathy Caron, Cindy Theys, Richard Caron, John DeBartola

 Remarks Provided by Keystone Alliance/GayLife Newsletter

Remarks from Kasey Caron

Good Evening,

As many of you already know, my name is Kasey Caron and I’m a senior here at Richland High School. I have attended Richland for the full extent of my school career, and all of my love, pride, and devotion goes into these very halls that have housed my body and mind for the last thirteen years.

I am an active participant in this school as an honor student as well as through various clubs and activities such as the Forensics Team, Concert Band, and previously Art Club, Anime Club, and Theater Tech. I have also organized the Day of Silence, a national youth-run effort using silence to protest the actual silencing of LGBT people due to harassment, bias and abuse in schools, at Richland for the past four years. I was inducted into the National Honor Society in the spring of this year, and I am in my second year as Assistant Drum Major of the Richland Marching Band, both of which are esteemed credits. Imagine this. You wake up one day in the body of the opposite sex. Sure, at first it might be exciting, different, interesting to say the least. But eventually it would become uncomfortable, scary, unsettling. You might even feel trapped in a way, wondering if you’ll ever return to your own body where you belong. Now, imagine feeling like this for 17 years, your own skin is your prison, you’re unable to escape, and you’ve just taken a glimpse at what it’s like to walk in my shoes.

Ever since I was a kid, I have always fit into a more masculine role. Even before I truly understood the difference between girls and boys, I knew something just wasn’t right. I tried having a boyfriend, wearing dresses, and playing with dolls, but it never felt right. I was happiest playing Nintendo, wearing baggy clothes, and keeping my hair short. Today, I identify as a FTM (female to male) transgender. This means that I have been in gender confirmation counseling and plan on taking testosterone and eventually having gender reassignment surgery, ultimately becoming a male. I’ve never been happy in this body, and having this done will be my chance to finally be comfortable in my own skin. Most of my close friends already knew this, and I’ve been listed as male on Facebook for a few years, but I haven’t really come out and said this publicly until recently. I have always dressed as a male, I identify as male, and have asked to be referred to with the masculine pronouns he and him.

The school has always been rather accepting of my status as a transgendered youth and has made some concessions to accommodate my unique individuality such as a separate changing room for gym and a separate rest room facility. The school has approved of me wearing a tuxedo in lieu of the traditional female attire for the concert band performances. The guidance counselor held a meeting with all of my teachers last year regarding my preference for pronouns and my transgender status.

The reason I came out about this is because when the school was about to vote for the members of this year’s homecoming court, I was asked by the school guidance counselor, Mrs. Stringent and the staff organizing homecoming whether I preferred to be placed on the male or female ballot. Obviously, since I was given the choice, I wanted to be on the male ballot. I quickly posted a Facebook status the night before the voting to make the seniors of my school aware of this. This status received 109 likes, 51 comments, and several shares overnight. The support I had coming from Richland’s senior class alone was phenomenal. Walking into school the next day, it was hard to turn the corner without someone congratulating me, hugging me, and promising me their vote. I had never felt so accepted, so supported, and so respected in my life. I was sure I was going to make it onto court, and this would be a major step forward for me, my school, and the young LGBTQ community. I was so excited that not only was I going to be on homecoming court, but I also had a real shot at being crowned homecoming king. Everything was falling perfectly into place, I finally felt like a normal, biological boy, and it seemed like nothing could possibly go wrong.

Something did go wrong, however. In fact, everything fell apart in one single moment. Friday the 30th, the day of voting, shortly before the vote was to occur, I was called into the principal’s office. I walked in to find the principal, Mr. Bailey, and vice principal, Mr. Wilson, sitting in the office with serious, and yet vaguely unfazed expressions. They asked me to have a seat, and I set my bag down and sat down in front of the desk. They told me that it had come to their attention that I was running for homecoming court as a male, and informed me that they had been contacted by some lawyers who had told them that it was illegal for me to be on the male ballot as my driver’s license states that I am female. They also, without previously informing me, had removed my name from the male ballot and replaced it onto the female ballot. I was in shock, enraged, and disappointed. It felt like everything I had worked for had been destroyed. A new and important door had been opened for me, and then slammed right in my face. I was heartbroken and on the verge of tears as I stormed out of their office and directly into the guidance counselor’s office across the hall. It hit me. I couldn’t’ hold it in any longer. I was crying so hard I almost couldn’t explain to Mrs. Stringent what had happened. I could barely breathe.

When I could finally get something understandable to come out of my mouth, she immediately apologized. She didn’t know what to say, and neither did I. I wasn’t sure whether I was more angry, or disappointed. Something needed to be done. I told her this wasn’t going to be let go, that people were going to hear about this, and I wouldn’t be the only one who was angry. This wasn’t the end, it was only the beginning. After spending a few periods in her office discussing my plans on dealing with this, I left to continue my school day. Some people had asked me why I was on the wrong ballot, and I didn’t hesitate to tell them the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, at least as I understood it.

At the end of the day, I was about to get on the bus to go home when the principal and vice principal pulled me aside. I wondered what they could possibly have to say to me after everything that had happened that day. They told me that it looked like I had gotten enough votes to have made it on court; however they weren’t going to send me with a male escort due to my “unique situation.” They had proposed to me that they were going to add another girl onto court and send her with my original escort, and that I could bring “whoever I want.” I couldn’t understand how I wasn’t allowed to be on court as a guy and escort a girl, but I apparently couldn’t be on court as a girl and be escorted by a guy either. It didn’t make any sense. They told me I could give them a decision by calling later that day, or informing them on Tuesday after the Labor Day weekend. So essentially I was being treated as a special case, and I didn’t know how to react. I just wanted to be treated the way I felt, as a male. Even though I could go to homecoming and wear a suit and escort a girl of my choice, I was still going to be in the running for homecoming queen, and that’s not right.

I had posted about how proud I was of RHS for initially placing me on the male ballot. There were many comments praising them for that decision, and those wearing blue tonight are here in support of me and my cause, because blue is the color of the cap and gown I am requesting to wear for my graduation in recognition of my preferred and expressed gender, male. This is in accordance with the Pennsylvania Fair Educational Opportunities Act which prohibits gender stereotyping within a public institution. As for the issue of the homecoming court and my situation of being listed on the court as a female, the only reason I was given that I could not be listed as a male member of the court is that my driver’s license states that I am a female. For your review, I present to you; the members of the school board and Mr. Bailey, a copy of my driver’s license showing that I am legally a male. Thank you for your consideration of these matters.


Remarks from John DeBartola: President, Keystone Alliance/Gaylife Newsletter

Good evening ladies and gentlemen of the Richland School Board, teachers, faculty, staff, parents, family, friends, and community members. My name is John DeBartola and I am the president of the Keystone Alliance/Gaylife Newsletter. I have been asked by Kasey and his family to speak to you tonight on his behalf as his advocate. Thank you for allowing me to speak to you.

I want to point out how important it is that as we are educating our young people it is important that we teach them the aspect of non-hate because hate is a big word as you probably know. We must teach our children not to hate. We must teach them tolerance of others, religious and other views. It is important that in educating our children that we also take into consideration that they are reaching adulthood, at least those in our own high school. The are becoming our future citizens, our future leaders, and how we treat them now will echo throughout their future and the future of all of our children. It is important that we respect their rights of choice, the rights for them to be the person that they are. Not to be someone else, not to be who someone thinks they should be but allow them the freedom of what this country was built upon and that is the freedom of the individual, the way to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as the person they are.

I would ask you to honor this person, to honor them as they move forward into their journey into adulthood by accepting them for who they are, by showing them that you believe in them, that you believe in the constitution and their right as citizens and that what is most important here is not whether or not this person is an A student or a C student, they are a student. They deserve the rights and respect of others from their classmates and, perhaps, even more importantly, the teachers and the adults around them and especially from the School Board who can set an example of showing that they believe in individuals rights, they believe in the right of a person to choose to be who they truly are.

I would like to point out just one last thing and that is how important it is that since the School Board represents the community at large that it must realize that it is important to take a stand against bigotry and hate. I would hope that you will make the right decision concerning Kasey. We are requesting gender identity be added to the schools protection and the Keystone Alliance would like to sponsor a Youth Chapter here at the school with Kasey as President with your permission. Thank you very much.

No Answers Yet For Kasey Caron

Kasey Caron, a transgender student at Richland High School, was given no immediate answers at a Richland School Board meeting as to whether he would be allowed to run for Homecoming King, but one thing was made certain. The school board does not recognize the gender identity of transgender students.

On Monday evening, Kasey Caron and his supporters gathered to contest the school’s decision that he must run for Homecoming Queen, rather than King. While Kasey was initially told he would be allowed to run for court as a male, he was switched onto the female side of the ballot prior to the vote. Kasey was nominated onto the court, at which time the school administration deemed him a “special case,” and said that rather than be paired with another male on the court as his escort, he was to bring his own date. The school district initially claimed that they were required to force Kasey to run as a female, according to their legal counsel.

At the meeting, Kasey told his story of the difficulties he has faced in life as a transgender student, and how joyed he was to have a chance at being crowned homecoming king, with the support of his classmates. He cited the Pennsylvania Fair Opportunities Education Act in his defense, which prohibits stereotyping based upon gender in public institutions.

Kasey was told by the school board that no one was singling him out, but that the law defines gender. The school board then asked him to consider how he was impacting other students. At one point, school board solicitor, Tim Leventry, misgendered Kasey when his mother asked to speak, saying to her, “Who are you… is Kasey your daughter?”


Over a hundred people were in attendance, wearing blue in support of Kasey. Three of his peers, as well as commenters from the community spoke in favor of Kasey, without any opposition. Seamus Johnston, a transgender student activist, said, “The school board claims to not want to make Kasey a special case, but by forcing him to be on the female ballot, they are saying that some student’s gender identity is more important than others, because everyone has a gender identity, and they are not respecting Kasey’s.”

After being presented with a copy of Kasey’s driver’s license, which identifies him as male, the school board claimed that PennDot’s classification of gender was less strict than state law, and that only if his birth certificate was changed, would Kasey be legally male. When asked what specific laws prevented the school board from allowing an alleged female to run for homecoming king, school board solicitor, Tim Leventry, reportedly sighed, and replied “We’re not writing a legal brief here, no I don’t have those in front of me to cite to you.” When asked who their legal counsel was, the school board declined to answer.

The school board summed up the meeting by stating that there were “two sides to this issue.” They claimed that legally, Kasey is female, and therefore can be made to run on the court as a female. However, they also stated that in practicality, because Kasey has the support of his peers, school staff, and the community, the school board has the authority to overlook the legality, and grant Kasey permission to run as a male. They closed the issue by stating that, having heard the opinions of the community, they will conduct further investigation into the situation under advisement, and will announce their decision following the next convening of the board, which will be two weeks later, in a closed meeting.

Area leaders of the Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition were in attendance at the meeting. Faith Elmes, President of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Pride Alliance and Assistant Convener of PSEC, commented after the meeting that “While no student should ever have to face the challenge of their school district administration taking away their dignity, Kasey was fearless in directly countering their ignorance and bigotry.” The student coalition is joined by the ACLU of Pennsylvania and GLSEN Pittsburgh in closely monitoring this unfolding situation. PSEC youth leaders across the state stand in solidarity with Kasey, as he advocates for his school community to embrace equal access and inclusivity for students regardless of gender identity.

A Court of His Own: Western PA School District Denies Transgender Student Access to Homecoming King Ballot

Kasey Caron, a transgender student at Richland High School in Johnstown running for Homecoming King, is fighting his school’s decision to assign him to the female side of the ballot. The school administration has claimed that they are ‘legally unable to allow him to run as a male, because his driver’s license identifies him as being female’, which is false as his driver’s license classifies him as male. Kasey’s situation in Western Pennsylvania is nearly identical to that of Issak Wolfe, a recent graduate of Red Lion Area Senior High School, who was unable to run for Prom King this spring because he is transgender.

On the second day of his senior year, Kasey was approached by the high school guidance counselor, and asked if he wished to be listed on the male or female section of the ballot for homecoming court. He was placed on the ballot with the other males. Kasey said he felt a great deal of support from his fellow students, and that he was confident that he would be elected to the court. Before the vote took place, Kasey was called into the principal’s office. His principal claimed that after consulting their lawyers, they were legally unable to list him as male, and he would be reassigned to the female side of the ballot.

While Kasey is legally classified as female, there is no Pennsylvania law determining how students are to be grouped for social events. However, it is legal for school districts to enforce arbitrary rules governing the gender identity of the participants, as there are no legal protections for transgender students in Pennsylvania.

Kasey was elected to the homecoming court as a female, and was told by administrators that due to his “unique situation” he was to take his own date who is not on the court with him as his escort, rather than being paired with one of the males on the court. While the administrators classified him as female, they felt uncomfortable with a masculine presenting transgender student arriving with a male date to Homecoming.

In protest, the Student Council President of neighboring Westmont Hilltop High School, Josh Livingston, and council member, Abby Panek, extended an invitation to Kasey to have an honorary position on their Homecoming Court, but the Westmont administration did not approve of the plan.

Kasey is speaking at the Richland School District Board meeting on Monday night. Those attending to support him are being asked to wear blue. Kasey’s family anticipates that approximately 200 people will be in attendance, more than he initially expected. Kasey intends on proposing to the board that he be moved to the male side of the ballot, and to add two females to the court – one as his escort, and one to replace his spot, so no one voted onto the court would be removed. He also plans on asking to wear the male’s blue cap and gown at graduation, and to be seated on the male side of the stage.

Kasey said he feels positive about the School Board meeting, stating that he believes the board will have a “change of heart.” He estimates that 90% of his classmates are in agreement with him, and says he has heard no complaints about his plan to run for Homecoming King. “My biggest worry,” Kasey said, “is that they won’t give me a direct answer.”

Issak Wolfe also testified before his school board in order to appeal his principal’s decision, but his requests were largely denied. In reaction to learning about Kasey’s experience, he said “It’s disgraceful that a school district would have the audacity to do this again to someone else, Further, he said, “Kasey is going to have a chance to blow this out of the water. I think he has a definite chance at winning, and he certainly deserves it.”

Kasey feels that he has a large amount of support, from both his fellow classmates and the faculty at Richland. “The people in my class know me personally, and they’ve seen what I’ve gone through and how it’s changed me, and they respect me.”

From the time he entered the eighth grade, Kasey has been an active member of the Jonhstown LGBT community. He first began assisting with the organization of the Day of Silence at his school. After the original organizer graduated, Kasey took up the cause and has organized the event every year since. In conjunction with the Day of Silence, Kasey formed a petition to have sexual orientation and gender identity listed as protected classes in the school bullying policy, after a friend of his was physically assaulted. Since then, the school has reverted to an unenumerated policy, which lists no specific characteristics. However, Kasey said that to his knowledge, the new policy has been enforced in incidents dealing with sexuality and gender identity. The Richland School District has an equal access to school and classroom activities inclusive of sexual orientation, but not of gender identity.

Together, Kasey and his mother, Kathy, organized a Facebook community for local residents called “Remember ‘It Gets Better’- Living Proof,” to connect local LGBTQ residents and support each other.

Before graduating, Kasey hopes to form a Gay Straight Alliance at Richland High School. He is in the early planning stages, and plans to take further action after the Homecoming decision is dealt with. “I think having a GSA will be very, very useful for future students.”

Faith Elmes, Assistant Convener of the Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition Coordinating Committee, and President of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Pride Alliance, said, “PSEC is in full support of Kasey’s fight to have his school district extend equal opportunity for all students, regardless of gender identity, and ask they pledge to do better in promoting a school community that provides dignity for all students.”

9/10/2013: This post was updated to further clarify that it was the school district claiming Kasey’s driver’s license was female, which is incorrect as his driver’s license identifies him has male.

Musician Speaks Out On Messiah’s Anti-LGBTQ Policies

After a performance at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania, Americana musician, Josh Ritter, took to social media to express his displeasure at Messiah’s community covenant, which requires students to abstain from, “such sinful practices as… homosexual behavior.” Ritter said on his Facebook page that while he did perform at Messiah, he, “…chose to use the opportunity to talk to the students – to encourage them to seek openness and change. I spoke honestly about my personal views – that we should all have the right to love – and to marry freely, no matter what our sexual orientation. Everyone was respectful and kind, and it is my hope that they’ll continue to demand a change to the Community Covenant.”

Ritter also reported that he is donated the fee which he received from Messiah College to The Trevor Project, a crisis intervention and suicide prevention LGBTQ advocacy group. He said that he will not play at Messiah College again until they, “…welcome, in word and deed, all members of their faith regardless of sexuality, and I urge my fellow musicians to do the same.”

Messiah College’s LGBTQ hostile culture has caused controversy in the past. In 2011, freshman Isaiah Thomas transferred out of the school after being harassed by students and faculty, being called an “abomination,” by a professor, and receiving a death threat online.

In 2008, Messiah College was criticized by the LGBTQ activism group, Soulforce, for holding a “Compassion Forum,” despite having policies discriminating against LGBTQ students.

Assault Occurs at Slippery Rock

Several students of Slippery Rock University reported witnessing a violent assault which took place at the off campus housing facility, University Village on Tuesday, April 30 . Kristopher Hawkins, the President of Slippery Rock’s LGBTQ group RockOUT, told the university newspaper, The Rocket,  that he saw a student being being kicked by an assailant, who then screamed, “fucking faggot,” at his target.

The student being assaulted was able to run away, but the attacker continued screaming. Kristopher contacted 911, where he was forwarded to the state police. He requested that an officer be sent to assure the situation was over, but the dispatcher told him that without a call from the victim, they were unable to send an officer. According to The Rocket, the state police cannot take action without the victim being present at the scene, and because the victim had reportedly fled, they were unable to respond to the call.

Taylor Schrecengost, a resident at University Village contacted security, and expressed that she felt they shrugged off the incident. Kristopher reported that University Village security told students that the state police had been informed, and told residents to “clear off.”

As President of RockOUT, Kristopher wants the group to bring awareness to this incident, and to communicate with University Villages about what he felt was a lack of response. While the sexual orientation of the victim is unknown, Kristopher said “based on his reactions and hearing him go on and on, [calling the victim a “faggot”] that’s when it became about LGBTQIA for me.”

The KSV will post updates on this situation as they become available.

Dickinson College to Offer Gender-Neutral Housing

Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, recently announced that they will be offering gender neutral housing in the 2013-2014 school year. While Dickinson has offered co-ed housing in the past, the 2013 Spring housing policies note the difference between co-ed and gender neutral housing arrangements.

The terms co-ed /mixed-gender operate on the assumption that there are two genders: male and female. It leaves no room for those who do not identify as their biological sex or those who are transgender or gender non-conforming. This idea is based on the notion that there are more than two genders, in fact an infinite amount. Allowing for gender-neutral housing, as opposed to co-ed /mixed gender, shows more inclusiveness and room for diverse identities.

Ariana Auerbach, a member of Dickinson’s LGBTQ group, Spectrum, said, “While it was possible to have mixed-gender housing before, it was a very complicated process and it was not specifically noted as gender-neutral. Since there are students here who are not comfortable with the same-sex housing whether it be because they identify as trans or if they simply do not fit the typical gender “norms” the LGBTQ community here has been expressing a lot of interest in gender-neutral housing.”

Dickinson is the newest school to join other Pennsylvania colleges, including Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pennsylvania, Bucknell University, and Gettysburg College, in offering gender-neutral housing options for students.

Swarthmore College Votes to Make Greek Life Gender Inclusive

Swarthmore College has voted to make Greek Life organizations gender-inclusive in a campus referendum. The referendum was one of six questions voted upon by the Swarthmore student body regarding Sororities and Fraternities at the college. The six questions were,

  1. Do you support ceasing Delta Upsilon’s and Kappa Alpha Theta’s affiliations to their national chapters?

  2. Do you support admitting students of all genders to sororities and fraternities?

  3. Do you support making fraternity houses into substance-free spaces?

  4. Do you support merging all sororities and fraternities into one campus building?

  5. Do you support having no campus buildings expressly for the purpose of housing Greek organizations?

  6. Do you support the abolition of sororities and fraternities at Swarthmore College?

The campus organization Swat Vote Yes campaigned for the abolition of Greek Life entirely, however, only the referendum pertaining to gender inclusivity passed.

The passage of a referendum does not guarantee that this action will be taken by the Colleges Board of Managers. “What a referendum would be is a thermometer of feeling of the student body … a referendum is not a guarantee of action.” It would, however, be taken more seriously than an opinion poll…” said student body co-president, Victor Brady, to Swarthmore College’s campus newspaper, Daily Gazette.

Swarthmore College does not have a large Greek life, with two fraternities: Phi Psi and Delta Upsilon, and one sorority: Kappa Alpha Theta. Sororities were banned at Swarthmore from 1933 to 2012 after an incident in the 1930’s, when a Jewish student was not permitted to join a sorority. Kappa Alpha Theta began accepting bids for membership in the beginning of the 2013 Spring Semester.

University of Pittsburgh denies claims of discrimination

The University of Pittsburgh last week filed a motion defending itself against a complaint in April by the Rainbow Alliance claiming that officials had discriminated against transgender students by enacting a new restroom policy.

The complaint made by the Rainbow Alliance to the Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations alleges that the university had unfairly decided on new guidelines for its dormitories, locker rooms and, in particular, its bathrooms, which would require transgender students to provide a birth certificate to determine their appropriate facilities.

University spokesmen maintain there has not been any discrimination reported against one particular individual, making the complaint a moot point. Other officials refused to comment due to ensuing litigation.

The Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition responded with this statement in April:

“The university is ignoring their equal access statement by actively discriminating against and creating a hostile environment for transgender students. We call on the University to redact this medieval policy – to force transgender students to provide a birth certificate to use the bathroom. We must work on improving the campus for transgender students by adding trans-inclusive policies and providing gender-neutral bathrooms and housing.”

Rainbow Alliance has expressed an intention to dispute the defense, and will follow suit with litigation as necessary.

This post was written by Brandon Baker, director of communications for the Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition and student at Temple University. Brandon can be contacted at bbaker@pennsec.org.