I am speaking out for my African-American, transgender son, Jayce, and asking for your support. Jayce wants to live with his male friends in on-campus housing next year, but George Fox University recently refused to allow this because Jayce is transgender. As Jayce’s mother, I am deeply concerned by George Fox University’s decision. The university has also indicated that it is considering a policy for students, which will require that all housing be based on “biological birth sex.” In this case, there would be no housing accommodations, at all, that would be allowed for transgender students like my son, to live with their male friends.
I want Jayce to be safe and to feel included in the campus community as he continues his education at George Fox and I want Jayce to be allowed to live in on-campus housing with his male friends. Jayce transitioned socially several years ago and has been under the care of a medical doctor, and on testosterone, for over a year to assist with his transition. He also recently applied for a legal gender change, which will be granted later this month, and I’m helping him change his gender marker on his driver’s license and with the Social Security Administration.
Jayce’s friends on campus have no problem living with him. They support and respect him. I am hoping that the university will show the same care and respect as Jayce’s friends have, and allow Jayce to live with them for the sake of his mental health and well-being. As a concerned parent, I am asking you to join me, on Jayce’s behalf, in asking George Fox University to please reverse its decision and allow Jayce to live in on-campus housing with his male friends.
Dear President Baker, Dean Pothoff, and Director Felton,
George Fox University’s recent decision to deny Jayce on-campus housing with other male students has put his housing, and his education, in jeopardy, and caused him to feel rejection, rather than the love of Christ.
Jayce wants what other students want, to live in on-campus housing with his friends. However, the university won’t allow this because Jayce is transgender. Instead, the university offered to allow him, for one-year only, to live off-campus with his male friends. This makes it seem like the university is ashamed of him, and willing to sacrifice his mental health and educational goals at the expense of avoiding controversy. It feels like “separate but equal.”
The university’s motto is “Be known.” Jayce let you know who he is but you will not let him be himself on campus, at least not in his home, where he sleeps, socializes and takes refuge.
Being a religiously-affiliated school does not mean having to be unwilling to hear Jayce’s story, see past preconceived notions of sex and gender and respect him for who God made him. I’m worried for Jayce and I’m worried for other transgender students who will be impacted by the policy that the university’s board of trustees is considering to assign all students housing based on their “biological birth sex,” with no provisions to protect transgender students through providing housing consistent with their gender identity, providing gender neutral housing or otherwise.
The reputation of George Fox University has decreased in my eyes. I urge you to provide Jayce and other transgender students with safe and appropriate on-campus housing, to add gender identity and gender expression to the university’s non-discrimination policy, and to abandon the discriminatory housing policy currently being considered by the board of trustees.