Saturday, August 23, 2014

Thank You Mills College

Dear Mills College,

Thank you from the depths of my soul. My amazing, bright, talented, creative, sometimes moody, always clever, sometimes very kind, smart daughter is male to female transgender. Your school would be fortunate to have her as a member of the Mills College Class of 2030 and you have already paved the way for her. Thank you for opening your doors to this often marginalized population, a population that is equally deserving of a college education as cisgender women.

It may seem odd that one of the issues I have worried about was the chance that my daughter would not have the opportunity to attend an all-female college, especially since she is only six years old. Clearly, I have no idea if she will desire to attend a same-gender college or not, but the fact that it was not an option on the table has saddened me much more than anyone knows.

As the mom of a trans* kid, I have plenty to worry about. It seemed like worrying about her desire to or her ability to attend an all-girls college should be pretty low on my priority list. (I don't actually prioritize my worry list, but I do have a mental worry list. It is sort of like a "to-do" list, only useless.) I kept it low, in the back of my mind, I never even mentioned it to anyone until today.

But I did worry about it. I hated that she may not be able to participate in an education geared towards all-girls. I had the honor of an all-girls high school education and while initially I didn't love it and while I don't have lifelong friends from the experience, I am so grateful for that education. There is something incredible about sitting in a classroom without any boys to distract you, without feeling like you need to prove you are as good as the boys in science or math, without feeling like the boys may not like me if I was too smart or not smart enough. It was freeing to go to school without the weight of having to glam up for the day. And aside from all that, it was just something special.

My heart has been heavy about the possible lack of a single gender education for my daughter since she came out. I kept it a secret because there are certainly bigger issues on our agenda right now....raising her to be strong in her true self, sorting through which family members are worth fighting for after they rejected us, keeping therapy appointments to make sure we don't mess up this very special parenting situation. Where she would attend college in twelve(!) years and who would be in her classes seemed like they needed to low on my radar. But they secretly weren't. But now, thanks to you, Mills College, it can just move right off my radar.

I already ordered two t-shirts and a pair of yoga pants from your bookstore and can't wait to proudly sport and support your excellent institution. Thank you and Go Cyclones!


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